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YouTube is testing paid online hangs with influencers

The crowdfunding service, called Fundo, was created as part of Area 120.
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TARIK KIZILKAYA via Getty Images

Google is expertimenting with an events-focused crowdfunding service for YouTube creators, according to a recent report from Variety. The new effort, called Fundo, allows YouTubers to set up online meet and greet sessions and other events that fans can pay to access. Several YouTube personalities have reportedly been using the feature to set up small online get together and live conversations with subscribers.

According to Variety, YouTuber Jessi Vee used Fundo to host group chats with fans last month. Mexican YouTuber creator Key Riqué has used the platform to sell shoutouts to fans for as little as $4, while KreekCraft has charged $10 per ticket for fans who want to attend an online meet and greet. Style YouTuber Hannah Forcier did a photo booth session with fans in which they had one-on-one conversations and posed for three photos together -- an experience that cost $40.

The experimental Fundo feature is the product of Area 120, an internal incubator set up by Google. It allows company employees to pitch ideas for new features and businesses. If approved, the employees are allowed to spend some of their time working on the side projects. While Google hasn't made any mention of how widely available Fundo is or when more creators will be given access to it, the company has filed a trademark for the Fundo name and branding.

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