Update September 2: The YouTube tip jar has now rolled out in the US, Australia, Japan and Mexico.
Officially called Fan Funding, the feature lets YouTube viewers tip video creators using their Google Wallet accounts.
Tipping a video creator is as easy as clicking the new heart-shaped icon in the corner of a video, or clicking the "support" button on a YouTube creator's channel page. YouTube viewers can also send money to creators from the Android YouTube app.
However, you can only tip YouTube creators who've set up their virtual tip jars.
Original reports back in June said users would have to choose a number between $1 and $500, but the the latest word is that users can tip any amount they specify - as long as they're willing to let Google take a cut.
That cut equals 5% of the total donation, plus an additional 21 cents in the US. That makes about a quarter the smallest amount you'll want to donate - and even then the creator will receive but a paltry amount.
Google says Fan Funding support for other countries and other platforms - presumably iOS - is coming soon.
Original story below…
YouTube is rolling out a raft of new features, including the ability for viewers to donate money to content creators whose videos they've enjoyed.
The so-called Tip Jar will allow users to 'show some love' for their favourite contributor by tipping any amount between $1 (around 60p AU$1.06) and $500 (around £293, AU$531).
The feature could prove useful for emerging artists in a number of fields, who are perhaps seeking to raise money for new projects, or supplement their advertising income from YouTube posts.
Charities may also use the feature to encourage direct donations, while there's also likely to be a somewhat more seedy element hoping to take advantage of the new functionality.
60fps game uploads
The new feature, announced by new YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, joins the addition of 60fps video upload capabilities, which is likely to please gamers operating at the higher frame rate on consoles like the Xbox One and Sony PS4.
Speaking at the VidCon conference on Thursday, Wojcicki also announced a huge crowd-sourced translation effort, which will allow viewers to experience clips in their native tongue through subtitles.
"Our goal is to make it that every video uploaded to YouTube will be available in every language," the CEO said.
Also among the new features that'll be hitting in the next couple of months are interactive overlay cards that will take viewers directly to purchase points such as a Kickstarter campaign page or an App Store listing.
7,500 music tracks and sound effects are also being added to the existing royalty-free sound library, while Creator Credits will allow up loaders to give props to collaborators pages within the tags.
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