Twitch partners have been receiving emails today about Channel Points, a new global loyalty currency that will soon be going into beta. The description of Channel Points seems to indicate that it is a similar system to Mixer's Sparks, a type of currency viewers earn by watching Mixer and can spend to participate in streams.
Partners on Reddit and Twitter have been sharing their invitations from Twitch today. Streamer Lowco was the first to screenshot the email and share it online. There has been no official statement from Twitch about how exactly Channel Points will work so information is currently limited to these partner emails.
The email describes Channel Points as "a customizable points program that lets you reward members of your community with perks, including a taste of benefits typically reserved for subscribers." That's the full explanation so far, the rest is information about how the streamer can sign up for the beta.
Those subscriber benefits may include special emoticons, badges, access to sub-only chat and streams, ad-free viewing, or special alert messages for the streamer to read. These are the current benefits subscribers enjoy, and it sounds like Channel Points may allow viewers to purchase some or all of these features.
Looks like Twitch is going to be implementing a global loyalty currency system. Maybe similar to Mixer's "Sparks" where you earn currency by watching streams. pic.twitter.com/KvTpjrQhJu— Lowco (@Lowco2525) August 17, 2019
How viewers earn Channel Points isn't discussed in the email. It's likely they will be earned based on time spent watching like Mixer's Sparks. Sparks are the soft currency on Mixer and are earned for each minute you spend watching streams. Sparks can be spent on unique interactions on stream like stickers, overlays, and special messages. In light of Mixer's recent announcement that they will be allowing every channel to be monetized regardless of partnership status, it's likely that Twitch is looking for new features to help maintain their audience.
Many streamers were understandably skeptical about the email at first. It certainly does seem odd that Twitch would be sending out invites to a new program before announcing the program officially. Not every partnered streamer received an invite, either. As far as we can tell, Channel Points are real and we can expect an official explanation from Twitch in the near future.
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