Twitch Chat Now Comes with "Cheering" Microtransactions
Yesterday, Twitch.tv's blog revealed a new feature to their popular streaming website, called "Cheering". Through "Cheering", viewers will be able to donate animated "Bits" emoticons to their favorite partnered streamers.
Essentially, "Bits" are special Twitch currency purchased via Amazon Payments (that is, real money is used to buy Bits) from a button on the Twitch Chat, like so:
The Bits differ visually based on the amount given to the streamer -- the starting 1 Bit is a dull grey, and they get gradually more interesting up to the more extravagant red 10000 Bits.
Here's a picture of what "Bits" will look like in various amounts:
Once Bits are purchased, viewers can type "cheer" followed by whichever amount they decide to donate (e.g. "cheer100" will give 100 Bits to the streamer, and have the 100 bits emote).
Here's what 100 Bits will look like in chat:
"Cheering" viewers will also receive special badges next to their names in chat, also depending on the Bits amount:
Quickly and without warning, the new "Cheering" blog post received a very negative response from Twitch viewers, with the second-highest voted comment from ActionJacksonHD berating the system for only supporting partnered streamers:
Another feature that benefits only partners… Who cares about the unpartnered streamers that pour $1000’s into big gaming rigs but are forced to stream at low qualities due to not having trans-coding. Why watch small streamers when you can watch a trans-coded, partnered streamer whose chat is now flooding with money?...
Other commenters had questioned the logic of having "Bits" when many streamers already have their own forms of receiving money from viewers via Twitch subscriptions and donation widgets.
As Topher Doll notes:
Why would I do this instead of donating or subscribing, which gives a higher [percentage] of my donation to the streamer?
Lastly, the most repeated negative response compared the Cheering system to adult streaming site Chaturbate, where viewers reward the broadcasters performing sexual acts with "tokens" via the chat. Considering Twitch's strong policy on nudity, (including banning games and broadcasters for exposure) this seems counterproductive to Twitch's ideals.
Bob Jone's comment is one of many:
No, please roll this back. This is the kind of stuff adult cam sites use. You already have policies against this kind of stuff, you’re only going to encourage it. This is coming from someone who’s *against* those policies discouraging clothing or “lewd” games because heaven forbid we can’t handle sexuality.
And his final line echoes the thoughts of many in the comments:
Please rethink this. This is not a good idea.
You can view the full reveal video below:
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So what are your thoughts about "Cheering"? Do you think it's a good idea? Please leave a comment below!