Twitch has revealed a new Boost experimental feature it will be rolling out to a small selection of channels. Viewers will be able to use money to Boost their streamer’s channel, giving said streamer more front page recommendations.
During the Patch Notes Episode 5 livestream on September 30, 2021, Twitch revealed it would be running a “Boost experiment”. Jacob Rosok, the Twitch Product Manager, went into some detail about what this Boost feature would look like.
This feature, which will have a testing period with a small group of streamers, is based on the previous success of the Boost feature Twitch was utilizing where viewers could use channel points to boost a stream. But this new Boost feature is different, as it allows viewers to use real-world money to boost a stream.
“Community members can pay to make the Boost as big as they like,” Rosok said. “Each community members’ purchase will add more front page recommendations for creators. Twitch will call out to the community who made the purchase and show everyone exactly how many recommendations the community has unlocked.”
So far, the community is not too pleased with this “pay-to-win” model, as some have called it. Devin Nash notes in a Tweet that front page recommendations do not always translate to viewers, so community members may be spending money for no real gain to their favorite streamer.
I went to twitch without being logged in & this is what the home page's recommendations were. not a single channel below 8k viewers. only 1 woman.— negaoryx (@negaoryx) September 30, 2021
instead of asking community members to pay Twitch to promote us, why not have an algorithm that serves anyone other than the top 1%? pic.twitter.com/efpFL0aJ4c
Negaoryx has also pointed out that Twitch’s own recommendations are often dominated by male streamers and channels with several thousand active viewers. If these channels, with their active viewers, receive Boosts, it just winds up with Twitch’s own recommendations remaining on the front page. The smaller, growing channels are at a disadvantage as they don’t have the viewership who can throw money at this Boost feature.
There’s evidently a lot of work to be done if Twitch wants to release this Boost feature across the entire platform and keep content creators happy. We’ll be sure to keep you updated as this story develops.