For years, YouTube streamers have used third-party plugins to allow their fans to donate to them. Starting this week, however, YouTube is taking a step toward making that functionality something that’s built into the platform. While it’s still in beta, the company says its new “Super Thanks” feature is rolling out to “thousands” of additional creators in 68 countries. By the end of the year, it plans to make it available to everyone in the YouTube Partner Program.
When you decide to give your favorite creator a Super Thanks, you’ll have four options before you. The amounts will vary by market, but in the US you can donate $2, $5, $10 or $50 at one time. Once you complete the payment process, you’ll see an animated GIF of balloons float across your screen, and YouTube will highlight your comment, as well as the amount of money you sent. As with the other monetization tools YouTube offers to streamers, including and , the company will take a 30 percent cut of all donations.
Adding more ways for creators to earn money is important for YouTube, even if it’s one the company is late to offer. Long gone are the days where it's the only video platform of note. The company faces competition from Twitch, TikTok and others, particularly as those platforms to keep their most prolific creators invested in making content only for their respective apps.