"Super Chat" Is Probably The Weirdest YouTube Feature Yet

2 February 2017, 17:02 | Updated: 17 July 2017, 12:24

We the Unicorns

By Liam Dryden

Is this how to get your fave to notice you?

So you know how you have to pay a little more for the better seats at a concert? Then, if you take a big sign, your fave on stage will be more likely to see it? Well, try applying that logic to a livestream on YouTube; and now you'll have a vague idea of what new feature "Super Chat" is all about.

YouTube have quietly rolled their latest feature out to 21 different countries, citing it as a new way for livestreamers on YouTube to gain revenue. The difference between this and advertisements, however, is the money comes directly from you.

Here's how Super Chat works:super chat

  • YouTubers with 1,000 subscribers or more can enable "Super Chat" on their account.
  • When they go live on YouTube, their viewers will see a little "$" icon next to the chat box (see image).
  • Viewers can use this to pay to upgrade their comment to a "Super Chat"; which will look larger, more colourful, and stay on screen for longer than the rest.
  • The more a viewer pays, the more their comment will stand out in the livestream's chat.
  • The resulting money generated from Super Chats will be split 70-30 between YouTube and the creator.

If you're still confused about how this new feature works, don't panic; YouTuber and product manager BarbaraEMac posted an explainer on her channel:

It seems like a good idea, particularly from a business/money-making perspective - but morally, we're a little more dubious. We're all for fans of YouTubers supporting their faves financially however they want, especially if they get something in return; but should the payoff really be a few extra seconds of attention in a chat room?

What do you think about Super Chat? Vote in the poll below.