Twitch bots are still making tiny channels the most-followed streamers

Image of the Twitch logo alongside Kaisa, a streamerTwitch: Kaisa/Twitch

Twitch follower botters have been up to their old tricks, turning some of the smallest streamers on the platform into the most-followed channels of the last few weeks. 

Building up a steady following is a challenge for pretty much every Twitch streamer. Some can get a helping hand if they’ve got a following elsewhere, or get a boost.

There are plenty of overnight successes on Twitch – be it because a bigger streamer shouted them out, they were featured on the homepage, or they’ve got an incredible niche that works well. However, botting is becoming more and more of a major issue.

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For whatever reason, be it to get someone in trouble or to just troll, a number of Twitch users can see their follower numbers spike into the millions, even if they’re just streaming to 10 or 20 viewers. 

Twitch text on purple backgroundTwitch
Botted followers and viewers are still a big issue on Twitch.

In the past, these bot numbers have propelled some channels into Twitch’s top 20 most-followed channels of all-time, leaving everyone confused.

However, while channels aren’t getting hit with five or seven million botted followers anymore, it’s still happening. So much so that in the last few weeks, quite a few small channels have become some of the fast-growing channels on Twitch. 

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That includes channels like Ezzi, Vision2KZN, and Kaisa who have streamed to an average of 40, 6, and 83 viewers respectively. But, they’ve ‘gained’ around 3 million followers each in the past 30 days. Even G2’s HeelMike, who has been botted before, has suffered another artificial boost in followers – being given close to 2.3 million botted followers. 

Breakdown of Twitch's fastest growing channels in 2021SullyGnome
The top-10 fastest-growing channels for 2021 have all been botted.

HeelMike has had fun with the botting before, as has LosPollosTV – who was botted with almost 2.4 million additional followers in the last month. 

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With the exception of nmplol, nine of the top ten “fastest-growing channels” on Twitch are because of follow bots.

Twitch has, and will, remove the botted followers at times, but it’s still a pretty major issue. It takes one wrong step and someone can be banned for something that’s out of their hands. 

it also ruins the ability to keep on track of which streamers are actually growing naturally, which is often a way for viewers to find new streamers to watch. These bot follower attacks could be making it harder for streamers to grow as they deserve to.

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Whether or not the streaming platform clamps down on it moving forward is unknown, but it was a persistent problem throughout 2020, and is showing no signs of stopping in the new year.

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