Twitch, the world’s largest streaming platform, has multiple ways viewers can support creators. One of those is ‘bits’, but what are they, how much are they worth, and how do they support streamers?
What are bits on Twitch?
Bits are essentially a virtual currency that is used by Twitch as an alternative way viewers can financially support creators and streamers.
While viewers can support their favorite streamers through tiered subscriptions, Twitch prime subscriptions or real-money donations, bits are “cheered”, rather than donated.
The cheering of bits unlocks emoticons, badges and more for the viewer, in a similar way to a subscription unlocking exclusive emotes that can then be used in chat.
How much are Twitch bits worth?
As they are essentially a virtual currency, bits have a real-world value. They can be earned by watching streams or adverts, but the amount earned will be fairly low, and a lot of channels prevent bit cheers below a certain amount.
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The majority of viewers purchase their bits, which they can then cheer to a streamer of their choice. Bit values change slightly because of real-world currencies and their conversion rates, but a rough guide to bit costs in USD is provided below.
How do bits support Twitch streamers?
As you’d expect, streamers receive real-world money in return for bits being cheered in their streams. Twitch Partners and Affiliates will receive $0.01 for every bit that is cheered on their channel. Therefore 100 bits gives the streamer in question $1. 500 bits gives a streamer $5 and so on.
So for every 100 bits purchased, $0.40 goes to Twitch, while $1 goes to the creator in question. This differs from subscriptions, which can see the value given to the streamer vary depending on the contract they have agreed with the platform.
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In short, bits are a great way to support creators, and an alternative to subscriptions or donations. At the moment, though, they can only be purchased via Amazon or PayPal payments, but Twitch have confirmed they are looking to expand methods of acquiring them.
The downside to bits is that they still give a chunk to Amazon (which owns Twitch), rather than the streamer. If you want to donate all the money directly to the broadcaster, a straightforward cash donation is better. Bits, though, have the other benefits of chat badges and leaderboards, so if you want these, you’ll need to pay the premium.