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.


Back off, photo thieves: Flickr alerts photographers to image theft with Pixsy

Worried about someone swiping your photo off Flickr? The image sharing platform can now integrate with Pixsy accounts to alert photographers when a photo is used without permission by using artificial intelligence to scour the web.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (April 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.

YouTube Red is now YouTube Premium. What's changed, and should you subscribe?

Thanks to Google, YouTube Red is now YouTube Premium. We explain what exactly a YouTube Premium subscription gets you, how much it costs, and break down if it's a good choice for you.

Kick off your streaming career with our complete guide to Twitch broadcasting

Streaming games on Twitch for the first time can be daunting to say the least, but with a few simple steps, it's remarkably easy to do. Here's how to do so using a PC, Mac, Xbox One, or PlayStation 4 console.
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.
Movies & TV

No TV? No problem. Here's how to watch the NCAA championship game online

Whether you want to watch the Big Dance on your phone or on your smart TV, we have the lowdown on all the ways to watch March Madness you can handle. Grab your foam finger and some nachos.
Social Media

Facebook’s tributes section serves as an online memorial for deceased users

Death doesn't stop Facebook users from sharing memories, and now those memorialized posts have a dedicated spot on the network. Facebook Tribute is a section on memorialized profiles for users to write posts and share memories.
Social Media

How to protect yourself from GoFundMe scams before donating

Can you spot a GoFundMe scam? While the fundraising platform says scams make up less than a tenth of one percent of campaigns, some do try to take advantages of others' charity -- like a case last year that made national news.

House votes to restore net neutrality rules, but effort faces long odds

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved the Save the Internet Act, a measure intended to restore net neutrality rules that were repealed in 2017 by the Federal Communications Commission.

Search all of Craigslist at once with these great tools on web and mobile

Not finding what you need in your local area? Craigslist can be great for finding goods and services from further afield too. All you need do is learn these tips for how to search all of Craigslist at once.

The FCC and White House want to bring high-speed internet to rural areas

The FCC and the White House unveiled new initiatives to bring high-speed internet to rural areas, including $20.4 billion in incentives to companies to build infrastructure. The FCC also announced ways to speed up the rollout of 5G.

Internet Explorer zero-day exploit makes files vulnerable to hacks on Windows PCs

Evidence of an Internet Explorer zero-day exploit capable of letting hackers steal files from Windows PCs was published online by a security researcher who also claims Microsoft knew of the vulnerability and opted not to patch it.

Buying airline tickets too early is no longer a costly mistake, study suggests

When you book can play a big role in the cost of airline tickets -- so when is the best time to book flights? Earlier than you'd think, a new study suggests. Data from CheapAir.com suggests the window of time to buy at the best prices is…

Report says 20% of all 2018 web traffic came from bad bots

Distil Networks published its annual Bad Bot Report this week and announced that 20% of all web traffic in 2018 came from bad bots. The report had other similarly surprising findings regarding the state of bots as well.