Cancel paid boost
Baiting Twitch users to pay money on behalf of their favorite streamers to boost discoverability is a bad idea and an unethical idea. It only unfairly furthers an existing advantage over other channels by exploiting community members’ good faith willingness to pay to support the streamer, and it does not make up for any deeper existing discoverability and usability failings. There is a consensus on social media that users understand this is a detriment to Twitch overall. If it doesn’t work as intended, they are wasting their money. But if it does work as intended, it greatly compromises the integrity of the platform.
This appears to be a feature designed based on the propensity for already paying users to pay more. It capitalizes upon the money-making potential of the already more successful minority of channels, with poor chances of making any meaningful growth impact whatsoever to other communities. If, as of now, anyone can earn channel points on an equal playing field, it only turns money into leverage for those willing/able or susceptible enough to spend it. The paid boost itself seems intended to take advantage of people with a willingness to pay extra for the mere theoretical possibility of supporting a streamer’s channel with more exposure.
Exposure alone is not valuable. Historically, it’s not worth channel points, and it’s not worth wagering real-world currency. Increasing impressions will often not make a difference across most KPIs. Presumably, it will not meaningfully increase unique viewers, based on how users traverse the site. And by extension, it certainly won’t lead to sustained increase in concurrent views, new follows, nor an eventual paid subscription. The vast majority of users who are exposed to a boosted stream, wherever or however they see it, are no more likely to click on it because it was “boosted.” Even if they know why it’s boosted, what is that supposed to mean from their perspective? This is assuming they are even made aware of it among other options presented to them. And that would be the best case scenario.
The more likely scenario is that the paid boosts result in no meaningful increase in impressions, and even more likely, no meaningful increase in clickthrough rates. What difference does boost make already? Apparently none, according to many streamers and viewers alike, but expecting users to pay is expected to make it work better in some way? Users who “test” this feature will have thrown away their money in the hope that maybe their money will make a difference. Some users will hope for the best, while most will probably avoid it, but relatively few users will recognize exactly how small the yield will be and why.
The value of their “support” cannot be meaningfully correlated to money spent, which makes encouraging them to spend their money difficult to justify. Or, alternatively, if hypothetically, the boost feature did consistently work as intended, ensuring that success could be bought or bid upon on the platform is entirely unethical and can irreversibly undermine the integrity of the platform. Just the notion of this “feature” alone is damaging, and a nearly unanimous and emphatic community reaction on social media has hopefully made that sentiment known. Twitch users have been voicing they don’t need this change and they don’t want it.
Making it possible for users to pay for what is normally a free feature is certainly not a convenience. It’s certainly not an improvement to it, nor a solution to its shortcomings. When users say they want the boost to be more effective, they are not asking for it to cost money out of their pocket. When users say they want the boost to be more effective, they are trying to tell Twitch that this “feature” is not working, and needs to be fixed; when Twitch’s idea of a “solution” is to make users pay, it is sending the message that users have to fix it.
Suggestion: cancel planned testing/launching this change as it favors paid inorganic growth over organic growth in ways that hurt the community as a whole. Explore iteration of existing channel points boost with user facing experience that demonstrates transparency and fair play, while investigating optimizations to underlying technical mechanisms that power it in order to make it more effective. User recommendations must be based on user engagement and presented with transparency to encourage trust and in order to be effective.
Even IF the boosts work, it will probably create a more competitive climate between streamers, which is currently heart-warmingly co-operative. It is this friendly wholesomeness and togetherness that feeds my 'addiction' to twitch. Now streamers will have to fight/ignore monetary incentives to maintain it. This to me shows a stark psychological oversight.
TL;DR Raids and hosts = wholesome. Paid boosts = negative vibes.
AT LEAST make it possible for streamers to opt-out. A lot of us small streamers would feel much more pressured during such boosts (so really negative outcome on streamer) with no financial benefit.
Paid boost as a concept is awful, but the 100% cut going directly to Twitch is the cherry on top of the... bad cake.
It's such an obvious cash grab and feels like it was created only to springboard individuals with deep pockets or huge communities. This does not benefit any of the communities that aren't being represented already.
Let's not mince words here though, this is gambling. As Trance1 mentioned this does not guarantee an increase in anything to the channel. Viewers altruism/desire to support a streamer are being utilized with terrible terrible Vegas odds that anything is actually going to come out it. It would be a better use of money to throw at their Ko-fi than spend that money through the twitch platform.
And a word for Twitch in particular:
But hey if the viewers are going to be idiots and burn their money who are you (Twitch) to stop them? You're (Twitch) just offering the service, people don't *have* to spend money on it right? So *obviously* you (Twitch) can't be considered to be taking advantage of people by obfuscating the odds that this new "service" will benefit a channel. **** I'm sure we'll see personal accounts starting to surface about how front page have benefited streamers. As we know personal accounts are 100% more trustworthy than hard data. I mean look at all the millionaires pouring out of casinos on a regular basis.
Paid boosts may put channels in a competitive position which implies that viewers of small channels with similar popularity can outbid each other to support their favorite creators. Since there are significantly more small channels on Twitch than big ones, the competition is higher for small streamers who often don't have stable financial support from their communities. A paywall may stop small channels from growing on the basis of the paying capacity of their viewers, and such a boost system reduces the odds for small streamers whose viewers are less likely to pay for a boost.