YouTube is introducing a new monetization feature for creators called ‘Super Thanks.’
The tool allows viewers to tip creators a variable amount on the platform. Current testing allows the viewer to choose between $2, $10, $25, and $50 amounts. After purchasing one of the options, users will see a celebratory animation, and their name will appear in a special color in the comments section.
Creators can respond to ‘super thanks’ messages in the same way they can for regular comments. The new feature is available in 68 countries on desktop, iOS, and Android versions of the YouTube app. This is the fourth direct monetization feature YouTube has added for creators.
Channel memberships allow creators to offer a monthly subscription for additional content. Super Stickers and Super Chats are also available for viewers to tip a creator during a live stream. Many YouTubers use Super Chats as a way to encourage users to pay to have their questions answered during Q&A sessions. Super Thanks work exactly like these features – but across any YouTube video upload.
For now, YouTube monetization of Super Thanks is limited to four dollar amounts. But YouTube says allowing the tipper to choose their amount is definitely in the pipeline. Earlier tests of the ‘Super Thanks’ feature only had one tipped amount – which viewers found restricting.
YouTube is experimenting with more direct ways to pay its content creators – since ad revenue is no longer enough. Advertising revenue also dries up when times are tough, as experienced by many creators last year during the pandemic. A direct pipeline from fan-to-creator is gaining traction among digital content creators.
Social media networks like Snapchat, TikTok, YouTube, and Facebook are experimenting with paying creators directly. SoundCloud is also one of the first music streaming services to give artists the opportunity to be paid for the listens they generate, rather than from a collective pool.
So when can YouTube creators expect to see Super Thanks rollout? Barbara Macdonald says the rollout is randomized for testing right now. It will be coming to all YouTube Partner Program members sometime later this year.
Being able to tip directly on YouTube also cuts out the need for third-party services like Patreon. Patreon has long been a way for content creators to keep content behind paywalls for ardent fans. But those tools are slowly being built into the very platforms where the content is hosted.