In a surprising move, the Amazon-owned Twitch broadcasting platform has rolled out what some may view as the most controversial move the company has made to date. A new feature that allows users to scroll through a seemingly endless queue of live streamers choosing whether they would ‘Smash’ or ‘Pass’. If you select Smash, Twitch will automatically make users follow the streamer. Pass will, well you guessed it, pass them to the next thirsty viewer. This experimental rollout is not available to all users, however, according to some, it’s already in use.
What people think about the new Twitch features
Some broadcasters have already spoken out in protest against the new feature. Sydney Islas, a Twitch streamer that goes by the handle ProteinKween calls the addition, “Disgusting.” A popular sentiment among much of the Twitch community. However, a Twitch streamer who wishes only to be known as Gobstopper64 was “surprised” by the number of people that chose smash. “Until now, I had no idea I was so desirable.” they said, “I grew up very shy, much more comfortable looking Lara Croft in the eyes than my crush in English 101.”
Among viewers, the new feature has been overwhelmingly positive. Viewer AintNoMommasBoy said he always wanted a way to express that he was there for more than his favorite streamer’s ability to headshot Wolverine across a Fortnite grassland. “I show up to stream every day,” he says “It’s nice that I now have a way to express myself without feeling like a creep in chat.”
Why Twitch would want to implement such a feature
We reached out to Amazon-Twitch about their reasoning for rolling out this test feature. While Twitch knows that this could be seen as controversial, they say they cannot afford to ignore their biggest swath of users, simps. When we asked for further clarification, Twitch replied, “We know which channels y’all are hanging out in. We know our bread and butter, we just want to help you all connect a little harder.”
This indicates a big switch going on at Twitch headquarters, an effort to connect people in a more intimate way. “We hope that one day, maybe you’ll say, I smashed that smash button and now we’re married.” This makes it clear that the platform is considering going down the path of popular dating apps such as Tinder and Grindr. Twitch believes this could even stop some of its power users from fleeing to platforms such as Facebook. In the end, it seems whether this becomes a full-fledged piece of Twitch functionality will ultimately fall on the users and whether they respond positively to the new feature set.