The new Twitch feature isn't pay2win, it's pay2lose. How twitch solved the right problem the wrong way. THREAD:

"The right problem" Twitch's biggest problem has always been discoverability. It's really hard for viewers to find a new Twitch stream. You can't really "go viral" on Twitch. This is where YT outclasses Twitch, and has led a lot of recent discussion on Twitch vs. YT streaming.

The "Solution" Today Twitch rolled out an experimental feature to some users: Pay $1, get 1000 "Recommendations". Recs are basically when you show up on a viewer's recommended feed along with many other streams. Think of it like a video showing up on someone's YT homepage.

Why this is the wrong way: Twitch's discover algorithm is bad. It doesn't give enough visibility to smaller streams. Instead of trying to improve this algorithm, Twitch took the easy route and said "If you want it just pay for it." But it gets worse.

Streamers aren't the only ones that can pay for this. VIEWERS can pay for a streamer to get advertised. This is a really bad look for Twitch. It's also going to work really poorly (we expect) Why?

By doing this, Twitch has asked creators to choose between Growth & Income. Donations are a large part of Twitch income. Would you rather give your favorite streamer $10? Or help them grow their channel? Here's a better question: Shouldn't the streamer choose?

Streaming is already extremely tough. Making money from streaming? Even harder. To make this choice is already insane when it's in the streamer's hands. To put it in the hands of the viewers takes away a ton of control from the streamer.

Even if you pay, this will still fail to help you grow. Why? Retention. Streaming is all about first impressions. This feature will bring viewers in randomly over time. Bringing those viewers back is near impossible over a long stretch of time.

On top of this, we've already established Twitch sucks at discovery. Paying money won't fix that. Your money doesn't mean they can recommend you to people that actually want to watch you. If they could do that, the problem would've already been solved. You're paying to lose.

As a tech guy, I get where this came from. Discovery is a REALLY hard problem to solve. Trying this Boost feature makes sense, since it brings Twitch more money, and puts a bandaid on the problem. However, just because it's hard isn't an excuse. Twitch missed the mark today.