YouTube wants its Creators making as much money as possible. The company has come up with a brand new feature that will allow video publishers to make money even during a live stream. Fans will be able to play real money to have their comments featured on top or even pinned on top of the comments feed.
YouTube isn’t exactly reinventing the wheel here– the feature has already been around in various places, most notably in Twitch. Although the platform used it in a slightly different manner. However, the fact that YouTube is bringing it to its platform says a great deal for the usefulness of the feature in getting content creators extra bucks.
Announcing the feature, YouTube said,
Today, we are introducing our latest tool for fans and creators to connect with one another during live streams: Super Chat. Anybody watching a live stream can purchase a Super Chat: a highlighted message in the chat stream that stands out from the crowd to get even more of your favorite creator’s attention. And Super Chats remain pinned to the top of chat for up to 5 hours, giving more airtime for your messages.
So here is the deal: In any live stream, Super Chat will be pinned to the top of the chat for as long as 5 hours, making it highly visible to anyone who would happen to visit the live stream during that time. Users willing to shell out bucks for some extra visibility would be able to get their comments highlighted or even pinned to the top of the comments feed for a limited duration — in exchange for some real world cash.
While fans get their favorite creators attention and the opportunity to bask in the adulation (or hate, depending on the comment) of other fans, for whom the particular comment would be highly visible, the creator gets extra money. And everyone goes home happy.
Which also brings us to an interesting question that YouTube failed to address in its blog post. What if someone hates a creator enough to spend money? Would the creator have control over the contents that are pinned to the top or highlighted? We have mailed YouTube for an anser and will update the article once we receive it.
Meanwhile, the Super Chat feature is being rolled out in beta today itself. Initially, only a few creators, such as iHasCupquake, Great Library (buzzbean11) and Alex Wassabi are receiving access. However, the company plans a fuller roll out soon.
We plan to broadly launch Super Chat on January 31 for creators in 20 countries and viewers in more than 40 countries.
Meanwhile, we see the rising importance being accorded to live videos by media platforms in this particular move as well. As a form of content that attract instant, mass audience, Live Videos are getting to be very important in the future of mass media. Facebook is already doing all it can to encourage creators to come up with more live videos on its platform and now, YouTube has joined the bandwagon as well.
The company is also shutting down Fan Funding, that allowed users to make voluntary payments to creators they wanted. With Super Chat around, Fan Funding was made mostly redundant. However, accounts that have Fan Funding enabled will still be able to use it for now.
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