As we welcome a new tool for fans and creators, we bid farewell to an old one: Fan Funding.
We launched Fan Funding in 2014 to let viewers make voluntary payments to support creators directly.
While we were really excited about Fan Funding, it never achieved widespread usage outside of live streams, where we saw the majority of revenue.
Fan Funding will stop accepting new sign-ups today, but can continue to be used on enabled channels until February 28, when it will be discontinued.
What is YouTube doing, and what are they thinking?
That is a terrible idea that will hurt YouTubers (uploaders) and YouTube itself and Google (who owns YouTube).
YouTube is a main source of income for some people, and the money from ads is usually not enough for most YouTubers.
So some YouTubers turn to side jobs, selling merchandise, joining networks, getting sponsors, et cetera to earn enough income to support themselves and their families and their YouTube channels.
When donation services like Patreon came along, some YouTubers started using it along with the other approaches that I mentioned above to earn more income through YouTube, but those services are not a part of YouTube.
So users would have to create new accounts on those services to donate and to communicate, et cetera.
When YouTube released YouTube Fan Funding, they had a chance to make things better for users and YouTubers.
Because this would have finally given YouTube a donation option that is directly on YouTube itself, without having to rely on third-party donation services.
YouTube did not even really try to promote YouTube Fan Funding or even make official videos announcing it.
It was briefly mentioned in an official video about other things once, but I never saw official videos only focused on YouTube Fan Funding before.
They did not tell people what it was and how to use it et cetera, or anything like that, so many people did not know about it.
Those who did know about it were not given any reasons or encouragement or suggestions on using it.
So pretty much none of the 100 or so YouTube channels that I am subscribed to really used it or ever mentioned it or promoted it.
YouTube Fan Funding was not even available for most countries, and so of course it was not being used much because of all of those reasons and more.
YouTube had an opportunity to give users a way to help support YouTubers and their YouTube channels and for YouTubers to have an extra source of income, and for YouTube (Google) to make more money from their percentage that they take from each donation.
But now they are throwing it all away and replacing it with a live chat feature that is limited to only live streams, which most YouTubers do not even use.
So most YouTubers will not even benefit from this replacing YouTube Fan Funding?
I think that being able to donate through live streams is good, so for live-streaming Super Chat is a good thing, but there needs to be a way to continue donating to YouTube channels through YouTube itself outside of live streams.
By removing YouTube Fan Funding which allowed users to donate through YouTube in and outside of live streams YouTubers will be unnecessarily losing another source of income which will hurt some YouTubers and their YouTube channels.
Some might be destroyed by this, and YouTube itself (Google) will lose another easy source of income for their business because live-streaming is not something that all YouTubers do.
Some YouTubers can turn to donations services like Patreon, but there are many users who do not want to have to create more accounts to just be able to donate.
So many users will not donate using third-party services like that.
That is one of the reasons why YouTube Fan Funding was important, and could have done a lot better and helped more people if YouTube (Google) had bothered supporting it and promoting it and educating its users about it.
I wonder who gets paid to make stupid decisions like this, how much do they get paid, and how do they justify things like this?
YouTube keeps making terrible and illogical decisions, they need to start doing polls and surveys and communicate with their users on YouTube itself.
They need to start listening to their users and communicating with them to help them avoid stupid decisions like this so that they can start improving YouTube instead of continuing to make it worse.
YouTube is lucky that it does not really have any serious competition yet.
YouTube if you want to add a donation option to live streams, just do it, and do not remove the ability to donate outside of live streams.
Rest in peace YouTube Fan Funding (2014 – 2017), your soon-to-be death is senseless.
- John Jr