Twitch is adding a new feature that lets viewers pay money to advertise their favourite streamers on the site.
The new Boost feature gives viewers the option to buy a set number of ‘Boosts’ for a streamer. Each Boost will highlight the streamer’s channel by adding it as a front-page recommendation for another Twitch user.
Reading from a prepared statement in Twitch’s latest Patch Notes community stream, product manager Jacob Rosok stated that Twitch will be trialling the new feature with a select number of Twitch streamers.
“What we’re doing with Boosts is giving viewers the ability to buy super high visibility promotions for their favourite creators, and these types of placements come with a cost,” Rosok said.
“We think this is a great way to show support. Further we’ve heard directly from creators that it’s hard to get their names out there, it’s hard to try and utilise different forms of social media to grow their channels, and our hope is that [this is] a more direct way for a viewer to help a creator do that.
“It’s no secret that viewers are here to support their creators, and we think that paying to help a creator grow their community will be worthwhile for their supporters.”
Rosok also gave more details on how the Boost process works. Boosts will only be purchasable during a 10-minute period, during which time viewers will be able to buy as many Boosts as they want.
“During the Boost purchase period, community members can pay to make the Boost as big as they’d like”, Rosok said.
“Each community member’s purchase will add more front-page recommendations for creators. We’ll call out to the community who’s made a purchase and show exactly how many recommendations the community has unlocked as the purchases roll in.”
Rosok claimed that the decision to add the Boost functionality was based on a similar community challenge that took place last December, which resulted in over 100,000 streamer recommendations being ‘purchased’.
However, these were instead purchased with Channel Points, which are earned by participating on Twitch, rather than real money. The notable difference this time is that viewers are now paying actual money to give their favourite streamers added exposure.
Response to the news was mainly negative on the Twitch chat accompanying the stream, with some viewers referring to it as “pay to win” and saying it “just sounds like a cash grab”.