YouTube Super Chat: Moneymaking Feature For Live Streams Rolls Out Before Global Release

Are you a huge fan of your favorite YouTuber? Want to make sure that they see your comment when you’re watching their live stream? YouTube is introducing a new feature to help both you and your favorite streamer.

On Thursday, YouTube announced a new feature named “Super Chat.” Super Chat is a feature that allows viewers to pay money to make sure that their comments are seen, TechCrunch reports. The new live stream feature is similar to the Twitch feature named “cheering.” However, while Twitch’s cheering consists of the user drawing attention to their comments using animated icons called emotes, the new YouTube live stream feature would highlight the comment and pin it to the top of the stream. It has been reported that the pinned chat comment would stay active for up to five hours, giving the message a lot of screentime.

The live stream feature was announced by YouTube as another means for content providers to generate revenue and keep the audience involved.

“We’re always trying to help creators share their stories, deepen relationships with their fans and succeed. In order to help out with the business part of the equation, over the last few years we’ve developed and released several tools to help creators monetize their videos and live streams in a variety of ways.”

The process for purchasing a Super Chat has been outlined by YouTube on their support site. Once you’re in a live stream, you can click an icon for the Super Chat purchase, set the amount you wish to spend on the Super Chat, enter the message you want to show, and then click “Buy and Send.” Once you’ve made your purchase, a countdown time will display how long your chat message will stay pinned.

Super Chat is going to be replacing a feature that has been a part of YouTube since 2014, named “Fan Funding.” The feature also gave viewers the ability to give money to streamers but it didn’t have much of an incentive on its own, relying on incentives laid out by the streamer for milestones reached or goals met. This older feature is being replaced because YouTube states that “it never achieved widespread usage outside of live streams, where we saw the majority of revenue.” In addition to replacing Fan Funding, YouTube is phasing out some of its APIs that relate to it. The Fan Funding API has already stopped accepting signups, though it will continue to operate for existing accounts until February 28. Streamers and developers are encouraged to make the change as soon as possible.

Gamer plays WiiU Tablet
Live streams have become very popular in recent years. [Image by David McNew/Getty Images]

Currently, Super Chat is being rolled out to a few streamers as a beta, including Alex Wassabi, iHasCupquake, and Great Library. YouTube plans on rolling it out to a much larger scale by the end of January, stating that it will be available “for creators in 20 countries and viewers in more than 40 countries,” at that time.

Live streaming has become a big business opportunity over the previous few years. A look at Twitch’s About page shows the success that they’ve had since they were founded in 2011. Some statistics they boast are having 9.7 million daily active users, as well as over $46 million raised by the Twitch community for charity. Business Insider also reported, back in 2014, that Amazon purchased Twitch for $970 million. Twitch introduced “Cheers” in June 2016, and has seen some success from it, leveraging Amazon payments as the payment platform. Live streaming has seemed to become the new sports channel equivalent or possibly more because you have the opportunity to interact with the content as it’s happening and sometimes have a say in what happens.

What do you think about Super Chat and Cheers? Will you use them to support your favorite content?

[Featured Image by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images]