YouTube has launched a new way for viewers to be heard during a livestream; one that is profitable for channel owners.
Dubbed Super Chat, the new tool enables viewers to pay to make their comment stand out in the chat stream. Anyone watching a live stream will be able to purchase a Super Chat. Once paid for, the person’s message is highlighted and will remain pinned to the top of chat for up to five hours.
Super Chats are not only a way for viewers to stand out from the crowd and get more of their favorite creator’s attention, it is an easy way for the channel owner to make some easy cash.
“We’re always trying to help creators share their stories, deepen relationships with their fans and succeed,” YouTube product manager Barbara Macdonald said in a blog post. “For creators, this means Super Chat does double duty: keeping their conversations and connections with (super) fans meaningful and lively while also giving creators a new way to make money.”
Super Chat is currently in beta with a handful of creators, including iHasCupquake, Great Library (buzzbean11) and Alex Wassabi. It will be launched to creators in 20 countries and viewers in more than 40 countries on Jan. 31.
Super Chat will replace Fan Funding, a tool launched in 2014 that enabled fans to contribute money to support the channels of their choice at any time, for any reason. Macdonald said Fan Funding did not really catch on outside of live streams. New sign-ups for Fan Funding has been discontinued, but those who have already registered to use it can continue to do so on enabled channels until Feb. 28, when it will be discontinued.