Twitch Chat Microtransactions are Now a Thing

By Patrick Klepek on at

You can now pay for a flashy new set of emotes in Twitch chat, though it’s unclear how much streamers will be getting if you choose to buy some.

Twitch calls this latest addition to their chat “cheering”. “Cheering is a new way to show support for streamers and celebrate the moments you love with the community,” the company said in a blog post today.

Cheers are fuelled by bits and bits are fuelled by your wallet. You have to spend a certain amount of bits in order to get different cheers to appear:

Twitch Chat Microtransactions Are Now A Thing

If you cheer, you have a chance to earn new chat badges, too.

Bits aren’t cheap, either. Here’s the current breakdown:

  • 100 Bits: $1.40
  • 500 Bits: $7.00
  • 1500 Bits: $19.95
  • 5,000 Bits: $64.40
  • 10,000 Bits: $126.00
  • 25,000 Bits: $308.00

The pricing details weren’t in the original blog post, they’re part of a separate support page. Given how expensive bits are, I’m not surprised.

More important details about bits remain unclear, too. One of the primary reason to subscribe to someone’s channel is knowing they’re getting a cut of your money. You’re able to support making streaming their hobby or, as is increasingly the case these days, they’re livelihood.

The blog post doesn’t talk about revenue. The support page is still vague:

Subject to certain conditions and restrictions, eligible partnered broadcasters get a revenue share from Bits used to Cheer for them.

That sure sounds like BS to me. When asked, Twitch wasn’t more specific, only saying Twitch broadcasters “get a share of the revenue”. How much is “a share?” The company hasn’t responded to my follow-up asking for that.

There are lots of problems with Twitch chat — it’s often toxic, hard to read, and full of harassment — but I’m not sure anyone was asking for new ways to spam icons? The marketing speak in Twitch’s blog post doesn’t help:

If you’ve ever watched Twitch and wanted to show support, but you couldn’t do it the way you wanted, now you can Cheer.

The initial response to Twitch’s announcement hasn’t been great.

“Why would I do this instead of donating or subscribing, which gives a higher % of my donation to the streamer?” wrote one commenter.

It’s a good question. Hopefully, we’ll know more soon.