YouTube Creators Can Now Receive 'Tips' Directly From Fans

The feature, which was announced earlier this summer, has quietly launched.

learn more about Laura Entis

By Laura Entis • Sep 2, 2014

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Earlier this summer, Google announced that viewers would soon be able to 'tip' YouTube channel creators "at any time, for any reason."

Slightly over two months later, the feature has quietly launched. As noticed by Android Police, content creators can now accept donations directly on their YouTube pages. For viewers, this means that when you watch a video by a creator that takes tips, you'll see an icon in the left corner of the screen. Hover over it, and it will reveal a 'support' banner. Click on it, and you can choose exactly how much you'd like to donate.

How much money you give won't be made public – only the recipient will see the amount, Google explains, although if you'd like to leave a comment with your donation, it "will have a special badge next to it to let people know you supported (but the amount you selected will not be displayed)."

Related: Here's Why YouTube Video Creators Are About to Make a Lot of Money

Currently, Fan Funding is only available in the U.S., Australia, Japan and Mexico. YouTube takes a 5 percent cut from all donations, plus a small base fee (21 cents, if you donate from the U.S.).

Donations can be made via browser or with YouTube's Android app.

The feature has the potential to drum up quite a bit of money for a wide swath of YouTube creators, the vast majority of whom make almost no money from the platform's pre-roll ads.

"To put it really simply, any viewer can show any creator their love by tipping them," YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said in June. It will be interesting to see how this plays out – if creators are able to generate enough money to fund new projects, YouTube could become a possible competitor to crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

Related: Spinning Viral Stars Into One-Man Empires: The Rise of YouTube's Multi-Channel Networks

Laura Entis
Laura Entis is a reporter for Fortune.com's Venture section.

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