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Twitch's Newest Feature Is Seriously Backfiring

On the surface, it's been hard to argue with Twitch's success. Since the fall of its closest competitor Mixer in 2020, Twitch has basically held a monopoly in the streaming market. And though YouTube and Facebook Gaming have since increased their profiles when it comes to livestreaming, make no mistake about it — Twitch is still king. The Amazon-owned streaming service enjoyed an incredible year in 2021, raking in profits left and right and attracting all-time highs in terms of viewership. But beneath that sparkling purple exterior, Twitch has never seemed more shady in the eyes of the public and the consumer.

Midway through 2021, Twitch was the subject of a massive data leak that not only disclosed the earnings of several of the platform's most popular personalities, but also revealed other shady dealings, such as a "do-not-ban" list. Worse yet, the platform introduced a new boosting feature that was accessible not only to viewers of streams, but the streamers themselves, effectively creating a "pay-to-win" feature within its contained ecosystem. And having a system that seems potentially being rigged in favor of the platform's more well-off users is only the tip of the iceberg. It seems that this new boosting feature could be backfiring on Twitch in an unexpected and racier way.

Twitch's boosting feature is being used on NSFW content

With Twitch now essentially doling out premium real estate on its front page to the highest bidder, anyone, some people have used this broken system to promote things that Twitch itself probably isn't all too comfortable with featuring. Namely NSFW content, which has placed the boosting feature under even more scrutiny.

As reported by Dexerto, while perusing through the platform's home page, Twitch partner TheNoosh22 noticed something very off: a thumbnail showing off a nude woman. Noosh tweeted her discovery and tagged Twitch to both bring awareness and have a dig at the site's new system. She pointed out that Twitch's new "Pay for Promo" set-up might be the reason why the unexpected imagery had been recommended to her in the first place.

Noosh would go on to state that in her decade's long tenure on Twitch, she had never seen anything like this and criticized the site's boost function for even making it possible. "I've been on Twitch since [it was Justin.tv] and have been a partner for 10 years," Noosh stated in a follow-up tweet (per Dexerto). "I've never had this happen on my front page and it's there because Twitch got paid to put it there." It remains to be seen whether Twitch will enforce stronger content guidelines when "boosting" channels in the future.