Twitch has launched a new way of cheering players that could turn into an important new form of monetization. Dubbed “Cheering,” the new form of celebration allows spectators to show support for broadcasters with animated emotes.
Spectators can simply type in “cheer” followed by a number in the chat window. Higher numbers use more Bits, which users can purchase with real money. That can add up to real money for both Twitch and the broadcasters, as the gameplay livestreaming service owned by Amazon has more than 1.7 million broadcasters and more than 100 million monthly users.
Twitch is calling the beta of Cheering as a new way for the Twitch community to show support and appreciation for their favorite broadcasters via chat. Starting today, viewers can cheer for any of the dozens of partnered channels involved in the beta. The feature will eventually roll out on a broader scale, as Twitch refines the program based on community feedback.
Bits can be purchased through the Bits icon at the bottom of the chat window in participating channels. Based on the amount of Cheering fans do in chat, they can earn special badges that make them more visible to the community. Bits are available for purchase now, starting at $1.40 for 100 Bits.
At launch, multiple third-party integrations will also be available from Muxy, TwitchAlerts, Design by Teak, and others. The Cheering system resembles similar monetization started by mobile game streaming rival Kamcord.
“Our community loves to support their favorite broadcasters, and Cheering using Bits provides a fun new way to level up their appreciation,” said Emmett Shear, CEO of Twitch, in a statement. “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.”
Among those taking part in the limited beta are Bacon_donut, brotatoe, cobaltstreak, cohhcarnage, dansgaming, ezekiel_iii, Femsteph, futuremangaming, Giantwaffle, goldglove, iijeriichoii, itmejp, Joshog, lirik, Lolrenaynay, omgitsfirefoxx, pianoimproman, professorbroman, reynad27, sevadus, Streamerhouse, Swiftor, timthetatman, and more than a dozen others.
For the full list of participating broadcasters and additional information on Cheering, read more on the Twitch blog.