YouTube is currently testing a new form of monetization which lets creators earn money directly from viewers.
With this new feature, viewers can support their favorite creators by purchasing “applause” on videos they enjoy.
Applause is similar to purchasing SuperChats on live YouTube videos, with the key difference being that it can be purchased on any video at any time.
Viewers receive nothing in return for purchasing applause, it’s simply designed as a way to personally support YouTube creators
Think of applause like a donation, in the sense that buyers get little more than the satisfaction of knowing they compensated a YouTuber for their work.
Donations such as this are popular on platforms like Twitch, where donations account for a significant portion of revenue earned by streamers.
How Buying YouTube “Applause” Works
Viewers on the desktop version of YouTube can purchase applause by clicking the “applause” button underneath a video. YouTube then displays a pop-up, shown below, which allows users to complete the transaction.
After completing the transaction a one-time clapping animation, only shown to the individual viewer, will appear over the top of the video.
Viewers can spend $2 on a single “clap” and they can donate as many claps as they’d like (up to $500 per day). When buying applause, just like buying SuperChats, YouTube will take a 30% cut and the rest will go to the creator.
Google notes that a buyer’s personal details will not be shared with the creator or made public. So it’s an anonymous way for viewers to support videos they enjoy.
Viewer applause is currently only available for purchase on desktop. It’s also only available to viewers in USA, Australia, Brazil, India, Japan, Korea, Mexico, and New Zealand.