Amazon-owned video streaming specialist Twitch has added the ability for viewers to 'cheer' for their favourite broadcasters, and in doing so provide a new revenue stream.
On the face of it, the news that Twitch has added a 'cheer' emote to its chat system is more than a little boring. Under the hood, though, the Cheer system is something rather bigger: a money-backed 'tip jar' to allow viewers to directly financially support their favourite broadcasters live and in-stream, without having to head to a third-party website like PayPal or Patreon and hand over cash directly.
Each time a user 'cheers' in a chat, Twitch has explained, they will be able to assign a number of 'bits:' 'cheer10' assigns 10 bits, for example, while 'cheer200' assigns 200 bits. These bits, naturally, come from a finite pool which must be replenished using real-world cash starting at $1.40 for a pool of 100.
Interestingly, though, not every broadcaster will be able to benefit financially from the programme: Twitch has confirmed that only 'eligible partnered broadcasters get a revenue share from Bits used to Cheer for them,
' with non-eligible or non-partnered broadcasters being left out in the cold. For these, only the secondary benefits of Cheering will be available: as users Cheer, they will receive badges which the company claims will make them more obvious to streamers and aid to 'help you identify the regulars in new channels [while] animated emotes will draw your attention to important messages or moments.
'Our community loves to support their favorite broadcasters, and Cheering using Bits provides a fun new way to level up their appreciation,
' claimed Emmett Shear, Twitch chief executive officer, of the launch. 'If channel subscriptions are the equivalent to holding season tickets for your favorite sports team, Cheering is like getting a crowd wave started during the game,
' he added - ignoring, of course, that a crowd wave does not normally cost the wavers any money.
Twitch's Cheer system is being rolled out on a gradual basis, with more information available from the official announcement