Introduction of Twitch Cheers, Iterations across Other Social Media Platforms, and Implications across the Web

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Video platform and community for gamers, Twitch, introduced a new way for visitors to engage with gameplay livestreams. Cheering is a chat message submitted during a Twitch livestream that uses bits, or a form of monetary payments, to tip the broadcaster with a linked bank account. For example, 100 bits costs $1.40 and bits are available at rates as high as 25,000 bits for $300. The user also has the option to view or engage with an advertisement to be rewarded bits, providing a strong incentive to brands looking to capture a gamer-type audience. Once the visitor prompts an ad, the chat box expands into a video which will only award the viewer if the video reaches full completion.


In essence, crowdfunded cheers have the potential to raise a large sum of money. We’ve seen a rise of simplified monetary exchange across a variety of social media platforms such as Snapchat (Snapcash) and Venmo. The simplicity allows instantaneous payments guised as emoji-like symbols denoted to currency.

Twitch is breaking ground on this type of interaction, though it could easily be integrated across other apps and websites. Below are sample iterations of what it could appear like on YouTube and Instagram.

For example, consider the impact bit exchange could have on the philanthropic sphere. In the instance a documentary is published on YouTube or Vimeo- viewers could like, comment or donate money to the cause. This also enhances the impact of crowdfunding websites, like GoFundMe, allowing those sites to fully integrate across other websites.

While social media continues to expand its’ arsenal of assets available to consumers, applying this tool across other platforms could have potential for prolific results. From a terminology perspective, bits (or whatever the term will be known as) could evolve to become a synonymous term for money in the sense of internet-related exchange. Where the pound (#) sign is now a hashtag and the at (@) symbol now references a certain profile, social media displays a knack of infiltration and reinvention that appears to now be shifting into the money sphere. The implications range from an easier way to raise money for philanthropic causes to simply cheering up a friend going through a tough time. Where likes and shares were once considered social currency, the shift into literal exchanges of money soon could be considered a fabricated form of actual social currency.

Sources: National Geographic YouTube channel, and pierre_don’t_care Instagram

Emilie Scott is a media planner and founder of Strategy Architect, search and social analytics consultancy for small business.