Currently, it’s in beta, so it will possibly be awhile before we see it. Who knows, we might never see it if the trials don’t go well. However, if successful, we will see a gifting membership feature. Allowing viewers to gift memberships to whoever they want.
Starting shortly, certain YouTube channels will be able to gift memberships to their subscribers. It’s YouTube’s version of Twitch subscriptions. With Twitch, viewers can show appreciation towards the streamer by gifting money. It then allows them to access hidden features, like custom emojis. They currently allow users to buy subscriptions as a gift for other users. So, if you know your friend loves a certain streamer, you could give them the gift of a subscription to their content.
It seems YouTube have taken this idea and tweaked it. They’re going to allow a small group of creator to access their beta version of subscription gifting. Then they’ll branch out further over the coming months. There is currently no suggestion as to when we will all be able to access this feature, or even if we ever will. Channels that want to try out the feature sooner rather than later can apply to do so. If you fill in this Google Form, you can be considered for the subscription gifting feature.
The gifting feature will have requirements you must meet. So, unfortunately it won’t be something everyone can apply for just yet. If you cannot enable memberships within your account, then you won’t be able to take part. Gifting will only be something you can access via a desktop. You won’t be able to gift via their app, or a mobile device. However, in the future this is something that will be considered. It’s possible they’ll figure it out before they launch their product to everyone.
As a viewer, you will have the chance to opt in to receiving gifted memberships on channels. It’s thought by making people opt-in it will avoid any spam that could be caused through this new feature. Within YouTube’s chat system, you will see a membership appear. You’ll have to click on the link and then allow gifts in order to accept it. When buying memberships, you can do it in set numbers. For example, you could buy 5, 10, 20 channel memberships in one transaction. These could then be gifted out within one of the YouTuber’s live streams.
If you decide you want to gift multiple memberships, YouTube will step in to help, by splitting them out within a live stream. Viewers who receive a gift membership will get access to one month of a creator’s channel perks. These will include, loyalty badges, custom emojis and more which YouTube have not yet released. As it’s a work in progress, it’s likely they will continue to add more in the lead up to their full launch.
If you receive a gifted membership, you won’t pay anything. Also, all creators will receive their normal share of revenue. So, it is YouTube who will take the hit for the membership cost. It could go in their favour though, as more people are likely to use this feature, which means they won’t end up making a loss. Instead, they’ll still continue making a profit. However, it doesn’t really matter to the creator as they still won’t miss out. In fact, they might get more subscriptions now, because those who can’t afford one, could be gifted one instead.