YouTube will launch gifted memberships in beta. They’ll be available to select channels starting Wednesday. YouTube’s version of Twitch’s subscriptions is the membership. Members can show financial support to creators and get access special perks such as custom emoji. Although Twitch users can purchase gift subscriptions for a while, it’s not possible to purchase gift memberships for other YouTube subscribers. YouTube has a page explaining the feature. The beta membership gifting beta will only be available to “a small group of creators” at first and will be expanded to more over the next few months. Channels interested can fill out this Google Form. However, you must be eligible to enable memberships in order to use the feature. Each channel has its own requirements. Gifting will be limited to viewers who use a desktop browser to access the feature. YouTube plans to offer gift memberships for mobile users for the full launch.
To receive gifts memberships on a channel, viewers will need to opt in. This could be a way of preventing harassment, similar to the changes YouTube made to its version raids. You’ll be able to view gifted memberships in chat. To allow gifts, you will need to click a link. This screenshot is a GIF taken from YouTube.
Click the toggle to access gifted memberships. Image: YouTube
YouTube explains that with Memberships Gifting, channel members can purchase a set number [5, 10, 20,] of channel memberships in one purchase. YouTube will then ‘gift’ other viewers to your live stream. A gift membership gives viewers access to your channel’s perks, such as loyalty badges and custom emoji. Gift memberships are free for viewers and you, the creator, receive your usual revenue share for each transaction.
Gifted memberships are the latest YouTube version of major Twitch features that were introduced to better compete against Amazon’s streaming service. YouTube isn’t just competing on features; it has also attracted some big Twitch names like DrLupo and TimTheTatman to stream exclusively on its platform.