A couple weeks ago a female Twitch streamer going by the name of Pokimane decided to limit donation to $5 maximum. Imane Anys, Pokimane, is the first streamer to ever limit the amount of money her supporters can send her in a single transaction. This move has stirred up a lot of rumors around why she decided to do it.
What Are Donations?
There are several ways viewers can financially support their favorite streamers. Direct financial aid from viewers makes up a large portion of a streamers income. In essence there are three ways to support a streamer on Twitch.
The first way is to subscribe to the streamers Twitch channel which starts at $5 a month. Very dedicated fans often subscribe for months and months at a time. The second option is to donate cheers to the streamer. Cheers is Twitch’s currency which the viewer purchases, Twitch takes a cut, and the remaining can be donated through Twitch to the streamer. This is a very easy and safe way to support a streamer in even amounts as small as a few cents.
The last option is to donate to the streamer directly. This service is often provided by StreamElements or Streamlabs OBS and the donation goes straight to the streamers PayPal. While the viewers can choose how much money they would like to donate there, those amounts are usually anywhere from $5 and up, with no limit. Big streamers have received donations even surpassing $100 from a single viewer.
This method of financial support has been limited to $5 max on Pokimane’s Twitch channel.
Why Did Imane Limit The Donation Amount?
Imane, or better known as Pokimane, has drawn some negative attention towards her supporting audience in the last months. It is no secret that the majority of her audience is male and most of her supporters are male as well. Pokimane is known to be the queen of the simp culture. A simp is someone who supports a streamer of the opposite sex usually because they are attracted to the streamer. Pokimane, who is a very attractive person, does attract a lot of those called simps. In the last few months she has been in the spotlight for using her “simp army” to take down YouTube videos she did not like, costing some larger channels brand deals and sponsorship because of it.
Pokimane did make a public apology, admitting she went too far and even took a break from streaming and social media in general. By now Pokimane has returned to Twitch and resumed her usual streaming schedule.
There are potentially two main reasons why Pokimane limited the direct donations to $5 maximum. One reason being the negative press around the simp culture and community on her channel. In some cases viewers donate large amounts of money to the streamer in hopes of building some kind of relationship. By limiting the amount of money donated, Pokimane now made all donations equal. No one donation will be “better” than another. This will help to take away from the simp culture and will allow Pokimane to treat and react to each donation equally. In theory this should encourage donations as a form of support rather than donating to build some kind of fictional relationship.
On the other hand, this move functioned as a huge PR move. Pokimane has drawn a lot of negative attention and making a move like this will take attention away from it and put her in a better light.
No matter what you think about Pokimane at the end of the day Imane Any is a very intelligent business woman who built a huge global brand around herself. Limiting the donations might result in a short dip of income, however with the positive press around it, donations will most likely go up. At the end of the day, Imane is not relying on donations in order to pay her bills. She has a business that provides a steady stream of income and taking a short very very minimal financial hit, will only pay for itself in the future.
Should Other Streamers Limit The Donations?
Pokimane made a smart move by limiting her donations to $5, however; other streamers should not follow her example. First Imane is not dependent on donation to pay her monthly bills which gives her the financial freedom to do so. Other, especially smaller streamers, might not have that freedom and therefore would only hurt their financial situation. If other streamers followed along, they would not receive the same PR Pokimane currently does. Pokimane did something no one has done before, while being one of the largest Twitch streamers, she shook the industry. Anyone coming after her is simply coping with her and not doing something new anymore, therefore not receiving any PR.
In order to get that much attention in a crowded industry like streaming, your brand needs to be well known and the name needs to mean something. Streamers that most people have never heard of could have made this move before Pokimane, but because their brand did not carry the weight hers does, no one would ever know.
What do you guys think about limiting donations? Would you limit the donations you could receive on your channel? We believe we should not, but maybe you think otherwise.