Esports News

Twitch Boosting – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Last week Twitch has revealed its latest feature, Twitch boosting. This allows players to ‘boost’ their Twitch views, so by paying cash you’re going to be able to make your Twitch stream appear to have more viewers and be more popular. This will naturally lead to more actual viewers discovering your stream, allowing streams to bypass that whole ‘make something people want to watch part of streaming. This new feature has had a mixed reaction from streamers, with many calling out the pretty horrendous optics of this new system.

The Twitch boosting feature isn’t brand new. It was tried out in the past in a different form. However, the newer version of the channel boost in Twitch has been quite rightfully called out as a pay-to-win mode. This is what’s going on with the Twitch boost, the pros, and many cons, along with what streamers are saying about this latest feature.

© Twitch

Twitch Boost – What is Twitch Boosting?

Twitch Boosting was originally tried out as a feature last December. In that version, channels could trade in their community points to activate the twitch boosting, this would move their stream into more visible areas of twitch. This wasn’t a specific Twitch follower boost or fake views, just allowed you to jump the queue. It wasn’t too well received at the time. However, the newer version is a lot more egregious.

The new form of Twitch channel boost literally boosts your viewer count. Your viewer count is artificially inflated which makes your stream appear higher up in the site and attracts more legitimate viewers. The newer version of the boost isn’t paid for by channel points anymore though, but with cash. Twitch streamers are now just able to click a button to charge their credit cards and instantly boosting their Twitch viewers.

Essentially, this feature is very similar to just hiring a service to use bots to inflate your Twitch channel. The difference though is that Twitch boosting is legit. This is Twitch deciding to offer their own viewer bot services and channel boost on Twitch, for a fee.

The Good Parts of Twitch Boosting

Before we get into the clear downsides of this new feature, it might be helpful to consider the positives. There’s are very few of these, but there could be a few benefits to Twitch offering this feature.

The first positive is for the channels that get discovered because of this feature. Twitch is crammed these days and quality streamers are hard to find among the mass of similar content. So, a feature that can help some of these channels get found has a positive side. The other main upside is that these ‘features’ are already available to those who seek them out. It isn’t too difficult to find a twitch marketing service that can boost your views for pay. This feature is really just legitimizing it. Those are roughly the positives, even if they are a bit flimsy.

The Bad

Those are the upsides to the channel boost Twitch service. Obviously, they are few and far between. The negatives are a lot more apparent. Basically, this is an official pay-to-win feature on Twitch. It allows those with the cash to fund it to just buy their way to the top of the Twitch listings. This is a platform with some major disparities between those who do well and those who don’t. The feature sets this nasty part of the Twitch ecosystem in stone.

The feature has had some major backlash from streamers of all sizes on Twitch too. One notable streamer to lash out was xQc. He called the feature ‘view-botting, ‘increasing popularity for cash’, and summed it all up as ‘this is bad, bad’. He’s far from alone in attacking the feature either.

Twitch is crowded with a lot of people trying to make streaming work. However, channels that have built up a following have largely done so by creating content that people want to watch. While advertising and having the means to chase an audience will always have an impact, this is how Twitch should work. Features like Twitch boosting go completely against this. Boosting twitch viewers lets you cut ahead, even if your content isn’t actually interesting.

Many people are feeling outraged about the Twitch channel boost feature. While it is ugly, it really serves as a reminder of how the streaming environment currently works. Amazon owns essentially a monopoly on games streaming. Like many other places where Amazon operates, they don’t do so in a way that most people would think is ethical. However, without a major competitor to Twitch, there is little outside of the reaction from streamers to make them reconsider.

The downright ugly part of Twitch boosting

There is something to be said about Twitch thinking this feature is not simply a money grab on their part. Apart from the platform taking extremely lucrative percentages from most streamers, they now went even deeper. Allowing extremely rich streamers to literally slap everyone else with their wallets, is going to be extremely lucrative for Twitch considering they earn from the boost itself, and a percentage of any potential subscribers jumping onto a stream as well.

Is the streaming platform this tight on money, to implement a feature like this?

Jordan Ashley

[Staff Writer] Jordan Ashley lives in the middle of the UK with two dogs who routinely beat him on Mario Kart. He's a big fan of playing Wind Waker over and over again while ignoring all other tasks. His ability to play Fortnite is limited to hiding in bushes. Available on Twitter on here

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