Twitch has come under fire recently after implementing an option for users to cite when refunding their subscription to a channel.
The new option allows users to cancel and refund their subscription minutes after purchase simply because they wanted to get a shoutout. Having the ability to cancel a subscription without charge within the first 10 minutes has been a feature on the platform for a while, but streamers claim this new option is encouraging viewers to reap subscriber rewards for free.
The subscriber system on Twitch is a big way in which creators make money on the platform. Unlike donation refunds, subscriptions canceled within minutes do not cost the streamer a fee, but they also do not receive anything for the sub.
Despite gaining traction on Reddit and Twitter, Twitch has not yet addressed the change. For Twitch, these options are used as a way for the platform to record data on why users are refunding their subscription. And for many viewers, a big reason for subscribing is to get a shoutout from their favorite streamers.
Members of the streaming community have suggested that the platform move to enforce rules to stop this from being abused such as not notifying the streamer of a new subscriber until their 10-minute refund window has closed, and others believing that subscriptions should be non-refundable.
Right now, it isn’t clear what, if any, steps the platform will take regarding this issue.
Update March 10 9:40am CT: Twitch has responded regarding the issue, claiming that the option has been on the site since 2018 but will be removed immediately.