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How Twitch Is Becoming Pay-To-Win

In the latest slew of controversies emerging from the world of streaming — including certain users not receiving their pay — Twitch's new paid boosting test has gone live. The developing function includes features for streamers to further grow their audience. This new test feature was announced late in September in a Patch Notes video from the service and as of right now, the feature is exclusive to only a select amount of Twitch users in the United States.

The new boost feature is a promotional tool that allows viewers to pay Twitch to push a stream further up the site's front page, giving the stream more exposure and, potentially, a huge increase in live views. It appears that — at least for now — streamers, not just viewers, can boost their own broadcasts. If creators can promote themselves via boost, some fear it could lead to what could be considered a pay-to-win strategy for users to boost their exposure with their own money. This type of exploit is already extremely controversial, and many users on Twitch have already begun voicing their displeasure with it.

Twitch users are questioning the ethics of streamers being able to boost their own broadcast

With Twitch streamers being able to boost their own live broadcasts, it's only natural that the most prominent figures on the platform who have the money to spare will be given an immediate advantage when it comes to being featured on Twitch's front page and collecting new viewers, whereas smaller channels without resources to pour into the platform will struggle to broaden their audiences. Users vehemently expressed their thoughts on Twitch's UserVoice feedback page, with most of the feedback being overwhelmingly negative.

"Instead of having a 'boost' feature, why not work on a better way to make smaller content creators to be discovered?" one user inquired. Another feedback comment urged Twitch to eliminate the feature altogether, calling it "unethical," giving an unfair advantage to the service's most popular personalities. The user explained, "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."

Between this feedback regarding their most recent feature and the fallout from several earnings leaks a number of months ago, Twitch has been making the news for all the wrong reasons. If things continue to trend downward for the platform, it could lead to many users to possibly migrate from Twitch to YouTube in hopes of a better streaming experience.