YouTube is testing out a new post type within its Community Posts element, while it’s also expanding access to ‘Membership Gifting’, which provides another way for creators to boost their audience in the app.
First off, on disappearing posts – YouTube’s running a new experiment that will enable selected creators to set a time limit on their Community Posts in the app, which will see those updates disappear after 24 or 72 hours.
As you can see in this example, the new option will enable you to set an expiration date for a Community Post, which will then see it automatically erased from view after that time.
YouTube says that creators have been seeking more ways to enhance engagement within the Community Posts element:
“We’ve heard from creators that they would like the ability to share content that is only available for a short period of time - for example, a special time-limited discount on merch or a special message for fans that manage to catch it before it expires.”
YouTube’s Community Posts, which it opened up to all channels with over 500 subscribers in September last year (down from 1,000 subs previously), enable creators to share text-based posts - which can include polls, GIFs, images, and video - within their Community tab.
That provides another way to extend your community-building efforts beyond video content and subsequent comments, which is more aligned with the engagement that you’ll find on in other social apps.
And soon, you’ll also be able to share disappearing posts too – though the initial test is only running with selected creators on Android devices to begin with.
“Viewers will be able to see that a post will expire in x hours at the top of the post in the community tab, and creators will see their expired posts in the ‘Community’ tab under the ‘Archived’ chip once it has expired. Creators can't re-share expired posts, but we are planning on adding that functionality in the future.”
On another front, YouTube’s also expanding access to its ‘Membership Gifting’ option, which enables Channel members to purchase gift memberships, which are then distributed to other viewers who are not subscribed to the channel.
Which may seem a little odd, but the idea is that this is a support measure for creators, not a gift for friends, as such, providing a means to both give the creator revenue (as they get the usual cut from gifted memberships), while also helping them to boost their audience in the app.
“Up until now, gifting memberships was in a limited beta stage only, and only accessible by a small number of creators. But with this launch, we're expanding the number of creators that have access to gifting memberships. And as a creator, you can buy gift memberships for your community without becoming a member yourself.”
To be eligible for the program, Channels need to have memberships enabled at a level of $4.99. Viewers also need to opt in to receive gifts during a stream, which they can do by tapping on the ‘Allow Gifts’ prompt in the chat on an eligible broadcast.
It could be a handy option for building community in the app, and with many YouTubers inspiring legions of passionate fans, you can imagine that some will be more than happy to participate in helping to grow their favorite creators’ following.