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Twitch Bits: How They Work

What is Twitch?

Twitch is a streaming platform that allows people to stream pretty much anything that they can film. It started out as a way for gamers to share footage of video games with others and has evolved to the point now where you can find almost anything from political talk shows to cooking shows, outdoor activities to musicians at work. And yes, video gamers playing games.

What Are Bits?

Bits are a form of currency used on Twitch. It can be obtained either through direct purchase of bits or as compensation paid for viewing advertisements on the platform.

How to Cheer Bits

When viewing a Twitch chat panel you will see a diamond shaped icon next to the emote icon.


Click on the diamond to bring up the cheering menu.

You will see something similar to that wide purple tone bar at the bottom of the menu, just above the chat window. You want to click on the Get Bits button on the right side. That will bring up a new menu that will show the costs to purchase bits.


I have blacked out the stream name, but as you can see there is a notification near the top of the menu above that the streamer has set their chat to limit cheering to a minimum of 10 bits at a time. (I’ll have more to say on this later.)

What you want to look for now is the gray Watch Ad button. Click on that and a new window will pop up on your screen that will show a verification screen. Simply click the verify button and solve the easy puzzle and you will see a 30 second advertisement.

Above you can see what the window will possibly look like. The orange bar on the side might not be there, I have left that to be an example of the kind of interaction space that advertisements might have on them. In this case, when you click on the orange bar on the right of the ad space a new overlay will slide out to give you more information.

You will be asked to interact in some way with the advertisement. This is as easy as just clicking on the ad window to open a panel for more information. (This does not take you away from the stream, it just interacts with the advertisement window.)

The below image shows how it will likely look after interaction. With the advertisement in the small black area on the left and the additional information displayed in the back rectangle on the right.

You will notice there are also now a set of emote reactions and a “I’m Done” option at the top of the screen.

Click on one of three different emote icons on the upper left of the ad window to indicate how you felt about the advertisement you were shown.

Then click the “I’m Done” text on the upper right to close the advertisement window.

You will now see one of three different displayed options. Here I have a payout screen for 5 Bits that shows an option to watch another advertisement to earn more Bits.

Another one you might see is one that has the Watch Another option greyed out. In the below image I have this kind of image on a 10 Bits payout screen.

You might also see the below sad face that is letting you know that you have reached the limit of ads that you can watch and to try again another time.



At this point it is recommended to try again the following day, but it is possible that you might get additional ads that you can watch later on in the same day. I do not know what the actual criteria here is, only that it does not seem to be a 24 hour lockout, just a pause on ad viewing until more ads become available.

So, now that you have accumulated some Bits, what do you do with them? You use them to support your favorite streamers.

How to Cheer Bits to Streamers

So, remember back up there I had shown you the window that looks like this:

You get to that by clicking on that little diamond shape in the chat window.

What you want to do is select a emote from the options. Say I want to use the basic little Bits diamond. I would type:

Cheer1

into the chat box, add any message I might want to send with my cheer, and hit enter to send it to the chat stream.

Some streamers have a limit set for the minimum amount of bits that can be cheered in their chats. If that is the case then you will see the message in red on the below screen shot.

I was confused on how this worked until recently. I had tried to just add 1 bit emotes until I had Cheering 10 Bits showing at the top. So it would be:

Cheer1 Cheer1 Cheer1 Cheer1 Cheer1 Cheer1 Cheer1 Cheer1 Cheer1 Cheer1

in the chat. No, that is not the way to do it. Your cheer will not process. Instead what you need to do is manually alter the amount by entering:

Cheer10

Then your cheer will process and you will be sending 10 Bits to the streamer.

Streamers are able to select their limitations on cheer amounts. Larger streams such as GamesDoneQuick might have limits of 100 Bits at a time, smaller streamers, such as myself, Phantascnene, will allow even 1 bit at a time to be cheered on the channel.

But, what does that mean, when you cheer a Bit?

In Twitch one Bit is equal to one penny in USD. So to send someone 100 bits is to send them one dollar USD ($1).

This can add up for smaller streamers like myself, who make more from Bits Cheering than they do from subscribers. A few Bits cheered to your favorite streamer can help to encourage them to keep going and not give up.

Note that a streamer must have reached affiliate status before they are able to be sent Bits.

Also note that a person can not send Bits they have earned to their own account. So if you are a streamer and want to earn Bits from watching ads on other streamers pages, you can use them to support streamers you enjoy watching.

And lastly, you do not have to send the Bits to the streamer on whose stream you were when you watched the ad. You can watch ads on any stream that has reached affiliate or partner status, and cheer them to any other streamer that has reached affiliate or partner level on Twitch.

I hope this has helped explain Bit for you. If you have any questions please ask them in the comments or stop by my stream at twitch.tv/phantascene and I will do what I can to help explain them better.

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