YouTube’s membership gifting feature will launch on Wednesday, but it’s initially in beta

YouTube is rolling out gifted memberships in beta, and they’ll be available to select channels starting Wednesday. Memberships are YouTube’s take on Twitch Subscriptions, allowing viewers to show financial support for creators and gain access to certain perks like custom emojis. Twitch users have been able to buy gift subscriptions for a while, but if you wanted to buy gift memberships to other fans of a YouTube channel, you couldn’t.

The membership gift beta will initially be available to a “small group of creators” and will expand to more “over the next few months,” YouTube says in a page about the feature. Channels interested in trying out the feature can fill out this Google form, although you must already have permission to activate memberships in the first place, which has its own requirements. And the gifting will only be available to viewers who are initially using a desktop browser window. Buying gift memberships on mobile is something YouTube is planning for the full launch of the feature.

Viewers also have to opt-in to receive gift memberships on a channel (which could be a way to prevent harassment like the changes YouTube has made to its version of Raids). Gifted memberships are displayed in chat and you must click a link and then a toggle to allow gifts. You can get an idea of ​​what the experience looks like in this screenshot taken from a GIF from YouTube:

Click the toggle to be eligible for gift memberships.
Image: Youtube

“Memberships Gifting allows your channel members to purchase a set number of channel memberships [5, 10, 20] with a single purchase, that YouTube is “gifted” to other viewers in your live stream, says YouTube. “Viewers who receive a gift membership get access to channel membership benefits like loyalty badges, custom emojis, and more for 1 month. Viewers who receive gift memberships pay no fees and as a creator you get your usual revenue share from each transaction.”

Gifted memberships are just the latest YouTube take on key Twitch features, introduced to better compete with Amazon’s popular streaming service. But YouTube isn’t just competing on features — it’s also enticed some big Twitch names, including DrLupo, TimTheTatman, Ludwig and, in a deal announced just last week, Sykkuno to stream exclusively on its platform. YouTube’s membership gifting feature will launch on Wednesday, but it’s initially in beta

Fry Electronics Team

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