YouTube has launched 'Super Chat' as a way for fans of YouTube stars to make their comments stand out during live stream videos and more importantly as a new financial stream for video creators. Viewers of live streams can purchase a Super Chat in order for their message to be highlighted and pinned to the top for up to 5 hours.
"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," said Barbara Macdonald, Product Manager, Live Streaming & YouTube Gaming. "We’re excited to start the Super Chat beta today with a few creators, such as iHasCupquake, Great Library (buzzbean11) and Alex Wassabi. And we plan to broadly launch Super Chat on January 31 for creators in 20 countries and viewers in more than 40 countries."
YouTube has also announced an end to Fan Funding, which they launched in 2014. Fan Funding enabled viewers to donate money to video creators to support their operations, but it never took off.
"While we were really excited about Fan Funding, it never achieved widespread usage outside of live streams, where we saw the majority of revenue," stated Macdonald. "Fan Funding will stop accepting new sign-ups today, but can continue to be used on enabled channels until February 28, when it will be discontinued."