What Are YouTube Super Chats?

Are you a YouTuber who wants to earn extra money? Find out why Super Chats are a great way of doing that!

When you’re building a YouTube audience, getting your viewers to engage with you can be tough. Across the board, most of them just want to watch your videos, get their entertainment fix, and close the app.

Any YouTuber who has been filming for a while knows this and can anticipate it ahead of time. While some engagement tactics are more effective than others, they always do the standard community-building tasks: asking viewers to like, comment, subscribe, and turn on post notifications.

But once you finally have your audience’s attention, what then? How do you convince them to tune in for the long haul, and in turn, start making more money from your efforts?

To answer that question, I’ve got two words for you: Super Chat.

If you haven’t heard of this feature that was rolled out in 2017, let’s talk about how amazing it is and why you’d want to activate it on your channel.

What Are YouTube Super Chats?

Super Chats are a fun way to monetize your YouTube Channel and connect with your audience. When you host a live stream or schedule a video premiere, viewers in the live chat can reward you with monetary donations ranging from $1 to $500.

To make sure everyone can see them, Super Chats are highlighted and pinned to the top of the video’s live chat. They also display the contributor’s name plus the amount of money they donated.

When it comes to building a community on YouTube, this recognition system is why Super Chats are so valuable for creators. They gamify the live chat section, allowing you to flaunt your biggest fans as they compete for your attention.

How YouTube Super Chat Works

Need an example of how Super Chats boost engagement? It all starts with the pinned comment.

The more money a Super Chat contains, the longer the donator’s comment is pinned in live chat. So for example, if someone were to donate $500, their Super Chat would be visible for five hours. That’s the maximum amount anyone can spend on one Super Chat and the maximum amount of time a Super Chat can be visible.

From there, a comment’s exposure time decreases as viewers donate less money ($100 = one hour; $200 = two hours; etc.). It’s almost as if your fans are placing bets on who can get your attention the fastest.

If friendly bidding wars aren’t your thing, that’s okay. Maybe instead you can appreciate how beautiful Super Chats look? They come in a rainbow of colors, so thankfully, no one’s going to miss them in the live chat. Depending on how much money a viewer sends, their Super Chat could be red, green, blue, or another vibrant color.

Want to see what they look like in real-time? Check out this video from the YouTube Creator Academy, which shows examples of Super Chats and how to respond when you get one:

Which Channels Have Access to Super Chats?

Before you go looking for the Super Chat feature, take a moment to find out if your channel is eligible to collect them. To meet the requirements, every creator needs:

  1. A monetized channel with at least 500 subscribers
  2. To be older than 18
  3. To live in one of the available locations

Even if you have those three things, Super Chats may not be available to you all the time. To troubleshoot, start by viewing your live stream settings. Make sure you’ve activated the live chat feature because right now, that’s the only way to view, send, and receive Super Chats.

Additionally, you won’t be able to earn Super Chats if you have a ‘made for kids’ channel or post age-restricted content.

How to Turn on Super Chats

Once you’ve determined your eligibility, the only thing left to do is active Super Chats! Here’s how to do that:

  1. Go to the YouTube Studio.
  2. In the left navigation menu, click Monetization.
  3. At the top of the ‘Channel Monetization’ dashboard, click ‘Supers’.
  4. On the right side of the screen, you can disable or enable Super Chats or Super Stickers ( similar to Super Chats, but are animated graphics viewers can buy to display in streams/premieres).

When you want to see all of your Super Chats in one place, stay in this dashboard. Right below the ‘on’ and ‘off’ dial, you’ll find a list of all your recent donations and who sent them. As an example, here’s what our dashboard looks like for the vidIQ YouTube Channel:

What to Know About Super Chats

While Super Chats can earn you money and engagement, there are a few fine-print rules to pay attention to, such as:

  • YouTube takes a percentage of every Super Chat - about 30%.
  • In case someone asks, Super Chats are non-refundable. Donators get a receipt via email for each payment, and YouTube only gives refunds under special circumstances.
  • Users can spend $500 per day and $2,000 per week on Super Chats.
  • You’ll need to connect an AdSense account to your YouTube Channel to collect the funds.

Now that you know everything about Super Chats, it’s time to host a few live streams and test it out for yourself! Show your audience some love, and they might thank you with a kind, monetary reward.