Twitch Chat Microtransactions Are Now A Thing

You can now pay for a flashy new set of emotes in Twitch chat, though it's unclear how much streamers will be getting if you choose to buy some. Twitch calls this latest addition to their chat "cheering". "Cheering is a new way to show support for streamers and celebrate the moments you love with the community," the company said in a blog post today.

Cheers are fuelled by bits and bits are fuelled by your wallet. You have to spend a certain number of bits in order to get different cheers to appear:

If you cheer, you have a chance to earn new chat badges, too.

Bits aren't cheap, either. Here's the current breakdown:

  • 100 Bits: $US1.40 ($2)

  • 500 Bits: $US7.00 ($10)

  • 1500 Bits: $US19.95 ($27)

  • 5000 Bits: $US64.40 ($88)

  • 10,000 Bits: $US126.00 ($172)

  • 25,000 Bits: $US308.00 ($420)

The pricing details weren't in the original blog post, they're part of a separate support page. Given how expensive bits are, I'm not surprised.

More important details about bits remain unclear, too. One of the primary reason to subscribe to someone's channel is knowing that they're getting a cut of your money. By subscribing, you're able to support their hobby or, as is increasingly the case these days, their livelihood. It's common to see streamers using all sorts of third-party donation systems, as well.

The blog post doesn't talk about revenue. The support page is still vague:

Subject to certain conditions and restrictions, eligible partnered broadcasters get a revenue share from Bits used to Cheer for them.

When asked, Twitch wasn't more specific, only saying Twitch broadcasters "get a share of the revenue". How much is "a share"? The company hasn't responded to my follow-up asking for that.

There are lots of problems with Twitch chat -- it's often toxic, hard to read and full of harassment -- but I'm not sure anyone was asking for new ways to spam icons? The marketing speak in Twitch's blog post doesn't help:

If you've ever watched Twitch and wanted to show support, but you couldn't do it the way you wanted, now you can Cheer.

The initial response to Twitch's announcement hasn't been great.

"Why would I do this instead of donating or subscribing, which gives a higher % of my donation to the streamer?" wrote one commenter.

It's a good question. Hopefully, we'll know more soon.


Comments

    Soon you will have a direct line to your favourite twitch streamer with Twitch whispers. Whisper directly in their ears!!!

    Afterwards, you can be in the eyes of your favourite twitch streamer as well with Twitch Flasher!! It'll be like pitch invaders in sport...but online!!

    Finally, be in your favourite Twitch streamer's minds all the time with Twitch Mindfuck!!!...

    Wouldn't be surprised if Twitch suddenly starts putting in restrictions, or outright bans, on streamers advertising other donation methods to their fans.

    This is starting to resemble sex chat sites. Allow streamers to be naked and this how you'd tip them.

    I will never understand the morons in these sort of chats. Look at this emote I paid for or my super cool VIP name I paid more for! But you better be quick, because every other person is spamming the same shit and you might only see it for a second. I better show it again just in case you missed it.

    Here, person streaming. Have $500 for being so keeeewwwlllll!

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