Web

You can now pay YouTube to pin your pithy comments in live-stream chat rooms

youtube super chat
YouTube has launched a new way for live-stream viewers to both make sure their comments are seen by content creators, and for content creators to monetize their streams on Thursday. It’s called Super Chat, and the more a viewer pays, the longer their comment would appear pinned in the live-stream’s companion chat room.

Viewers will be able to pay anywhere from $1 to $500 to gain special benefits such as a special highlight color for their message, longer message length, and extended time where their message appears pinned in the chat. For example, a $1 purchase would not give you any additional benefits, but a $500 payment would highlight a message up to 350 characters in red within the chat for up to five hours.

The feature launches today in a select number of popular YouTube channels, but will launch across creators in 20 countries and viewers in 40 countries starting January 31. It replaces Fan Funding, YouTube’s previous way to allow fans to send donations directly to content creators.

“For creators, this means Super Chat does double duty: keeping their conversations and connections with fans meaningful and lively while also giving creators a new way to make money,” product manager Barbara Macdonald says.

Super Chat is also be a way for the creators themselves to acknowledge and interact more with their biggest fans. Since these messages will appear highlighted in a different color from the rest of the chat, they’ll be easier to find. YouTube will also provide admin tools that will allow creators to sort through these paid chat messages through tabs at the top of the chat window.

“We are super excited to see how our new creator funding tool keeps the conversation going,” Macdonald added.

One potential problem is that the system at least initially doesn’t appear to have any measures to prevent online trolls from paying for harassing messages that now will appear pinned within the chat. The same chat moderation tools will still be available — such as word or phrase blocking and user bans — but the creator themselves will need to manually remove the chats if those features are not enabled.

Home Theater

Apple will reportedly launch its new video-streaming service at March 25 event

The rumors about what Apple will announce at a March 25 event continue to swirl. A new report suggests that it will debut its much-anticipated video-streaming service, which will compete with Netflix and Amazon's Prime Video.
Home Theater

Netflix vs. Hulu vs. Amazon Prime: Battle of the on-demand streaming giants

Trying to figure out which subscription streaming service to use while sticking to a frugal entertainment budget? Check out our updated comparison of the big three: Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and Hulu.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Home Theater

What is YouTube TV? Here’s everything you need to know the streaming service

YouTube TV is becoming an increasingly major competitor to other streaming services. Not sure if the service might be right for you? Don’t worry, we’ve got a guide detailing everything you could want to know about the service.
Computing

YouTube beats Apple, Netflix as the most trusted brand by millennials

The popular video sharing website YouTube climbed up in an annual Mblm study, moving up from third place in 2018 and coming ahead of both Apple and Netflix in final 2019 rankings. 
Computing

Russia will ‘unplug’ from the internet as part of a cyber-defense test

Authorities across Russia are planning on unplugging the country from the global internet as part of a test of its cyber defenses. The disconnection will briefly keep all internet traffic inside the country.
Mobile

Is the 5G spectrum harmful to our health? Experts say, 'Don't freak out'

There's plenty of consumer anxiety about radiofrequency (RF) radiation, specifically around millimeter waves (mmWave) used on 5G networks, but is it based in reality? We asked the FDA to give us its official view on the subject.
Gaming

These are the coolest games you can play on your Google Chrome browser right now

Not only is Google Chrome a fantastic web browser, it's also a versatile gaming platform that you can access from just about anywhere. Here are a few of our favorite titles for the platform.
Web

Gmail adds lots of new functionality to its right-click menu

Right-click on an email in Gmail and the list of actions is pretty limited. That's about to change, though, as Google has just announced it's expanding the list of options to make its email client that little bit more useful.
Computing

Tired of paying a monthly fee for Word? The best Microsoft Office alternatives

Looking for a competent word processor that isn't Microsoft Word? Thankfully, the best alternatives to Microsoft Office offer robust features, expansive compatibility, and an all-too-familiar aesthetic. Here are our favorites.
Computing

File Transfer Protocol explained: What FTP is and what it does

FTP stands for "File Transfer Protocol," and it's used to transfer files online. Most internet users don't need it, but web developers use it constantly. Here's what FTP is, how it works, and how you can get started using it.
Computing

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.
Computing

Lose the key for your favorite software? These handy tools can find it for you

Missing product keys getting you down? We've chosen some of the best software license and product key finders in existence, so you can locate and document your precious keys on your Windows or MacOS machine.
Computing

From beautiful to downright weird, check out these great dual-monitor wallpapers

Multitasking with two monitors doesn't necessarily mean you need to split your screens with two separate wallpapers. From beautiful to downright weird, here are our top sites for finding the best dual-monitor wallpapers for you.