Image Credit: Zach Bussey

Twitch are testing a new controversial feature called ‘Boosts’ that promotes creators’ streams when viewers pay Twitch.

Various online platforms have been exploring new ways for creators to market their content to new audiences. Opening their homepages and other key areas to paid content from labels and artists usually aren’t received well by the community, with many referring to this as a pay-to-win strategy that hurts smaller creators. Twitch are taking a different but equally controversial approach, allowing fans to pay to promote channels, rather than the creator.

What we’re doing with Boosts is giving viewers the ability to buy super high visibility promotions for their favorite creators, and these types of placements come with a cost.

Jacob Rosok, Product Manager, Twitch

According to those that have seen the new feature, during a ten-minute period of a stream, users will be able to Boost streams. $0.99 will promote the stream to 1,000 new viewers on Twitch’s “Live channels we think you’ll like” section of the homepage. Those who Boost streams will be highlighed in a similar way to those who donate or gift subscriptions, though in this instance, the revenue goes to Twitch, not the creator. Twitch originally debuted Boosts in December last year, but they were paid for by Channel Points, earned when viewers watch streams, rather than actual cash.

The feature is currently being tested with a small number of channels, so there’s no guarantee if or when it will be rolled out worldwide. The majority of Twitch’s community are against the new feature, describing it as a “cash grab and “legal viewbotting”.