Twitch will no longer let viewers pay their way to the top (of chat) come November 15. It's dropping the controversial Hype Chat feature it brought in back in June this year, which allowed people to spend anywhere from $1 to $500 to get their chat messages pinned—in dazzling technicolour—to the top of a streamer's chat box for a variable period of time.
In a post on Twitter, the Twitch Support account announced that the feature was being yanked off the site due to "the community's feedback." Unhappy streamers and fans have led the service to "[decide] to deprecate Hype Chat on November 15th," and to focus on investing "more into cheering and bits" as time goes on. In a promise reminiscent of transmorphing Wound Imps into Malfeasance Tokens, Twitch says fans will be able to "pin Cheers with Bits in the coming weeks."
Based on the community's feedback, we've decided to deprecate Hype Chat on November 15th and invest more into Cheering and Bits, going forward. We still believe in the value of pinned messages in fast-moving chats; viewers will be able to pin Cheers with Bits in the coming weeks.November 9, 2023
Essentially a copy of YouTube's SuperChat feature, Twitch Hype Chats weren't enormously well-received when they went live on the platform last June. The 70/30 split between streamers and Amazon on revenue from the chats was hardly well-liked, and the fact that their function seemed largely extraneous in addition to all of Twitch's normal Bits, Cheers, doodads and gewgaws, meant they went down like a lead balloon. Perhaps Twitch CEO Dan Clancy learned about this while roaming around in his van, who's to say?
Kind of, anyway. You'll still be able to pin messages after Hype Chats vanish, but you'll have to do so using Cheers. Going forward, streamers will be able to turn on a feature that lets viewers pin their Cheers to the top of a chat window, the duration of the pin depending on how many Bits they've spent. So basically the same system, just built atop Twitch's already existing Bit/Cheer system and, crucially, something streamers can turn off if they don't want it.