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YouTube Is Finally Getting Gifted Subs

YouTube is still the king of on-demand video, but when it comes to livestreaming, it’s still playing second fiddle to Twitch. Although YouTube is making headway by signing big talent to multi-year contracts, YouTube still lacks many of the features that have come to define Twitch as the king of game streaming.

But that might be about to change. YouTube’s Japanese Creators Twitter account recently announced a new feature would be rolling out to a small group of creators. That feature is named “New Membership Gift Alpha Edition,” which we can interpret to be gifted subs.

Gifting someone a subscription, or "membership" as YouTube calls it, is basically purchasing a one-month subscription to a particular creator and then giving it to someone else. It's fairly common to show support of a creator on Twitch by gifting them subs, and it's been something that YouTube has lacked even though it's had paid subscription tiers for a while now.

"For creators using livestreaming and membership, this is a function that allows existing channel members to give membership rights to other viewers," reads the Google translation of the tweet. So far, only the Japanese Twitter account has announced this feature rollout.

As noted by Dexerto, gifted memberships were teased last October along with raids (which YouTube calls "Live Redirects"). It seems likely then that this initial rollout is simply being done in select regions with select creators.

In other YouTube news, CEO Susan Wojcicki has expressed interest in NFTs. This came courtesy of a blog post detailing YouTube's priorities for the coming year, and while Web3 is a fine thing for a streaming platform to be taking note of, crypto and NFTs are seemingly less relevant to video streaming. Wojcicki didn't say just what forms NFTs might take on the platform, but we sincerely hope that they don't.

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