Google I/O 2017: YouTube SuperChat takes 'shout-outs' to a whole new level

Google announced a number of announcements to YouTube and ‘SuperChat’ at Google I/O, Google's annual developer conference, which was kicked off on 17 May, 2017.

The company announced a new SuperChat API which will trigger actions in the real world. This means that during a live stream, the viewers can pay money to trigger actions set up by creators, like turning off the studio lights where the YouTube creator is broadcasting the live stream from, flying a drone and other such actions.

Image Credit: Google

Image Credit: Google

Barbara MacDonald, the Product Manager at Youtube, demoed an example by paying $500 on a live stream by ‘The Slow Mo Guys’. The payment triggered a real world action that turned on the stage lights and made a loud noise. This was a trigger for the audience to start hurling 500 water balloons at Slo-Mo guys Gavin and Daniel. Obviously, being the Slo-Mo guys, the entire event was caught in slow-motion.

Image Credit: Google

Image Credit: Google

To recap, ‘SuperChat’ is a relatively new feature that the company announced back in February to help creators monetise their live streams. The feature is the digital equivalent of getting a front row seat at an event or show, which you took to ensure that your hollering was audible to the performers.

SuperChat allows users to pay the creators a certain amount of money for their chats to show up on top during a livestream. The purchased chat messages remain pinned to the top for up to five hours. Each user who pays to have a pinned chat gets a visual flair on the chat.

Image Credit: Google

Image Credit: Google

SuperChat is a way to increase the engagement between users and creators, and allow creators to make a little money on the side at the same time. The SuperChat feature for accepting payments is available in 20 countries, and viewers in 40 countries can make the payments. The colourful chat boxes are designed to grab the attention of the channel creators as well as to help fans make their comments stand out from the crowd.

Image Credit: Google

Image Credit: Google

SuperChat is a new twist on the age-old ‘Shout-outs’ feature in online chat rooms. It functions more like a ‘nudge’, which was a way to attract attention during a conversation. However, the new ‘SuperChat’ API pushes it to a new level, where money can push ‘interactivity’ or the call for attention, from a mere badge on screen to a real world action trigger. It is no longer limited to the digital realm where it was all text-based.


Published Date: May 18, 2017 02:25 pm | Updated Date: May 18, 2017 02:25 pm