Twitch has announced that after just a few months, it’s deprecating its monetization feature, Hype Chat. Twitch launched Hype Chat five months ago and it allowed viewers to pay so their messages would be featured at the top of chat. Users could spend anywhere between $1 to $500; the more a user would pay, the longer their message would stay pinned. The feature was heavily criticized by both streamers and Twitch viewers. Ultimately, the feature provided no benefit to most viewers who paid for it, as streamers would still respond to messages in chat, paid or unpaid. Plus, many streamers didn’t feel comfortable monetizing their attention, which was the main incentive of Hype Chat — pay so the streamer would notice your paid message.
In response to the criticism, Twitch announced on X/Twitter that it decided to “deprecate” Hype Chat starting this month. Instead, the platform will invest further into Cheering and Bits.
“We’ve decided to deprecate Hype Chat and invest more into improving Cheering and Bits. After assessing early usage, we didn’t see the results we expected from Hype Chat,” the Twitch blog post reads.
Twitch still believes in paid pinned messages
Twitch revealed that it will invest more resources into Cheering and Bits by allowing streamers to pin Cheers with Bits. This will likely work similarly to how Hype Chat works. However, streamers will have the ability to turn the feature on or off. Twitch says that it still believes in pinned messages, citing that it makes it easier for viewers and streamers to interact in “fast-moving chats.” However, this still runs into the same issue many creators had with Hype Chat: encouraging viewers to spend money to get noticed. However, at least this time, creators will have the option to turn the feature off on their channels.
Is it a step in the right direction?
Overall, we applaud Twitch for axing Hype Chat. Aside from offering little benefit to viewers who paid for it, it was also a confusing monetization model for viewers. According to Twitch, “We learned through community feedback after the launch that viewers saw more value in Cheering because it was easier to understand exactly how much streamers earned from Bits.” Twitch added, “Direct purchases through Hype Chat, made from a monetary amount instead of Bits, also made it more difficult to understand how much streamers were earning after currency conversion.” And although Twitch is holding onto the concept of paid pinned messages, we’re thankful that streamers at least can choose to opt-out.
Twitch will discuss Hype Chat more tomorrow during its Patch Notes at 12 PM.