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Twitch launches paid Hype Chat feature to pin messages

But streamers unable to opt out.

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Image credit: Twitch

Twitch has launched a new Hype Chat feature to allow viewers pay to have messages pinned at the top of the chat window.

The main aim is to provide a new way for viewer messages to stand out in a busy, fast moving chat, as well as an additional method for streamers to make money.

Messages can be purchased from $1 to $500 (with streamers able to set a minimum up to $100) and the duration, character count, and visual design of the pin will depend on the amount spent. Twitch will take a 30 percent cut of revenue earned.

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Initially, this feature will be available for Partners only - those streamers with the highest numbers of viewers and subscribers. Twitch is aiming to roll out Hype Chat more broadly in future.

The feature brings Twitch in-line with YouTube, which offers a similar feature called SuperChat. Hype Chat will also sit alongside existing monetisation features like Bits, Subs and Gift Subs.

It's also been in the works for some time; back in September last year Twitch began testing Elevated Chat. Hype Chat is largely the same.

Of course, a major consideration is safety as this sort of feature appears ripe for abuse - especially following hate raids against marginalised streamers.

Hype Chat is integrated with existing chat safety features. For example, viewers will not be able to use banned words or phrases; messages from timed out or banned users will be removed; and AutoMod scanning is in place.

Further, both streamers and moderators will be able to unpin Hype Chat messages if necessary.

However, streamers will be unable to opt out of Hype Chat if undesired as Twitch aims to provide all streamers with consistent monetisation features.

Further, this feature arrives in the wake of heated criticism around Twitch monetisation.

Last week, the platform introduced a new Partner Plus programme with a higher revenue split, but many streamers don't meet the criteria.

According to analytics platform Stream Charts, only 1006 streamers will actually be eligible for the higher split.

Hype Chat uses that new, higher revenue split of 70/30, but without the ability for streamers to opt out if undesired, it's a forced change for streamers - and Twitch itself - to generate more money.

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