YouTube creators have always thrived off their relationships with fans. At VidCon 2014, the company’s CEO, Susan Wojcicki, revealed plans for expanding on that relationship by getting audiences to contribute financial support to their favorite YouTubers. Now, they can, through a very simple process.
Fan funding has officially launched on YouTube in the US, Mexico, Japan, and Australia. Creators from these four countries have the option to include a “Support” button on their channel page and in their videos, inviting viewers to add to their “tip jar.”
As outlined in Wojcicki’s VidCon keynote, the feature will allow donors to contribute up to $500 to their creators of choice, 5% of which (along with an extra 21 cents “for processing”) goes to YouTube. Creators like The Young Turks and Soul Pancake have already begun using the fan funding feature, which looks like this (top right):
The feature now works on Android in addition to computers, but should be available on other devices “soon,” according to Google. Payment goes through Google Wallet, hence the processing fee. Perhaps YouTube’s latest effort to get funds to creators (and the company itself) will begin steering YouTubers away from the likes of Kickstarter and Indiegogo…or it will just add to the crowd-funding buffet.