Twitch being horny on main.
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Late last year, Twitch began to test a system that would allow viewers to pay real money to boost a streamer's channel to Twitch's main page. This would perhaps give the streamer some added exposure and help their channel grow. It was also obviously an easy way for Twitch (ie: Amazon) to pull in even more money.

Today, that grand experiment came to a predictable end. Viewers were using this boost feature to push channels to the main page of Twitch that were streaming porn.

The feature was officially called "Boost This Stream" and was actually introduced way back in December 2020. Only, at that time, boosts were done using free channel points. Viewers were able to use their channel points to complete a "boost challenge" in order to promote the stream to more prevalent pages on Twitch.

Paid boosts, which came a year later in September 2021 was sort of the same idea, except instead of using the freely earned channel points, you used money instead. The only real limiting factor on this new system was how much money streamers, you, and other viewers were willing to spend. Think of it as a "pay-to-win" feature, but with Twitch streaming.

When announced, the plan wasn't all that well received by many in the streaming community. The system would just favor those that already had a large following on Twitch and hinder those that are just struggling to be discovered in the first place. Discovering smaller streamers is kind of an issue that Twitch has always had and will probably continue to have for quite some time to come. Streamers also took issue with the fact that they saw literally no money from these Boost This Stream payments. All of the money went to Twitch.

Much like with many things that Twitch does, they ignored the community and went ahead with the paid boost idea. The system was in place over the past several months but came to a sudden end on March 30.

Several users on Twitter (NSFW) and Reddit (NSFW) started to notice that several live channels on the Twitch front page were just straight up streaming porn. They were clearly boosted by users because they were given a "promoted by the streamer's community" label right under the T and/or A.

A representative from Twitch confirmed that paid Boost This Stream feature has been "paused" due to "some safety-related issues that came up during testing." That's PR speak for trolls figured out how to game our poorly thought-out system. Still, a specific reason from Twitch was not provided. The company also did not say whether or not the feature would ever return in a modified form later on.

Alas, this really isn't that big of a loss.

Speaking of Twitch features that aren't that big of a loss: Twitch also announced that they are discontinuing their desktop application on April 30. Compared to just watching streams in a desktop browser, which support third-party add-ons like FFZ, BTTV, and 7TV, there just wasn't much of a reason to keep using the standalone app. The Twitch app used to provide download access to the games offered through Prime, but those were removed a while back. It also used to let you download mods for a handful of games, but that functionality was also removed a while back.

(h/t PC Gamer, Dot Esports)