YouTube is adding a new element to its Super Chat streamer payment tools with 'Super Stickers', a set of cartoonish character depictions, some animated, which add to your Super Chat options.
The stickers will stand out more clearly in comment streams, which could make them an enticing option for those looking to get the attention of the broadcaster.
The initial Super Stickers launch includes eight sticker packs, five of which are animated. And as you can see above, the character packs include unique bios which, YouTube says "add even more color to your connections with fans".
"If your viewers like Popo the hippopotamus, they can send you stickers the next time you’re on a hot streak. Once you enable Super Stickers, be sure to explore the sticker packs to learn more about Energetic Lemon and Baby Lemon, Bushiba, Biggest Fans, and others."
It may not seem like a massive update on the surface, but YouTube's Super Chat is likely more popular than you think.
According to YouTube, there are now over 100,000 channels which have received Super Chats, and some streams earn more than $400 per minute. That's a lot of potential cash to be made by YouTube creators for broadcasting to their fans.
The addition of Super Stickers is inspired by the Chinese streaming market, where these types of bigger, more prominent stickers can signify status among viewers, and be a major earning chip for broadcasters.
As explained by Connie Chan on the Andreessen Horowitz blog:
"For example, let's say you send a broadcaster a digital sticker of a sports car (a luxury sticker, usually costing over $30 apiece) and then immediately afterwards ask him or her to sing your favorite song. If the broadcaster feels up for it, he or she will thank you for the gift and honor your request - all in the public chatroom that other viewers are also watching from."
YouTube will be looking to facilitate similar with its higher price point stickers, providing more incentive for creators to broadcast on its platform. And worth noting, Facebook also announced an update to its similar 'Stars' streaming payment process this week.
To purchase a Super Sticker, YouTube users viewing a live-stream need to tap on the dollar sign icon within the live chat. From there, you can select the sticker or chat type you want to purchase - the color/sticker and the amount of time each remains pinned at the top of a chat feed changes depending on how much you spend.
It's an interesting addition for YouTube, which again, follows the model of live-stream monetization established within the Chinese market, where streaming has become a major industry.
In addition to this, YouTube has also announced a new test of @mentions within video titles and descriptions, enabling users to connect to other accounts in a more overt, cross-promotional way.
That could help facilitate influencer marketing and brand partnerships, generating more exposure for partner brands via the main listing. Tagged profiles will recieve a notification of the mention, alerting them to the same.
The option is being tested in YouTube Studio Beta among profiles with more than 1k subscribers - instructions on how to access it are here.