Earlier this year, YouTube introduced a new feature called Top Fans that allows creators to identify and engage with their biggest fans. The feature was originally only available to a select few creators as part of a beta, but now it's ready for primetime.
YouTube's Jeb Havens announced today that the Top Fans feature is now available to all creators. Well, not all creators as the feature is only available to channels with over 5,000 subscribers. Still, that's a pretty low threshold, and any channel with less than 5,000 subscribers probably doesn't need to worry about engaging their top fans anyway.
So, how does this Top Fans feature work? First, you'll want to hit up the Community tab in the YouTube dashboard. From there, you'll see a table that lists your most engaged fans. This list is updated daily, and you can sort it by any number of metrics, including comments, likes and shares.
Since this is Google we're talking about here, it has also worked some Google+ functionality into the Top Fans feature. That means that you'll be able to set up a Google+ circle of your top fans and then send out messages, questions and private videos that only they can see. The feature will also let you see what other content your fans like so you can better target their interests.
Havens notes that the Google+ functionality doesn't just go one way. Your top fans will be encouraged to follow you on Google+ as well whenever they watch one of your videos. If they do decide to follow you, it will make it even easier to connect with the fans that are helping spread your brand across the Internet.
In other YouTube news that may be of interest to creators, Google just recently announced that fans will soon be able to download your videos to their mobile device and watch them offline. You can read more about that here.[Image: Google Support]