Periscope, Twitter’s live-streaming app, announced a “Super Hearts” feature today. The feature allows users to tip broadcasters, a move that is credited with helping grow YouTube and Twitch.
The Super Hearts program is pretty confusing, though. Users have to buy a virtual currency called “Coins.” Then they can choose between three Super Heart options which differ in price and pizzazz. The lowest level heart looks like a more elaborate version of the regular hearts Periscope users are used to. The top tier Super Heart is golden and has the user’s profile photo embedded in it. Users can only send Super Hearts when a broadcaster is live.
If you’re confused, hold on, because it gets even worse.
Broadcasters who receive hearts can’t immediately get paid for them. They have to first register to be a “Super Broadcaster” and have received at least 185,000 “Stars,” which is what Twitter is calling they currency they use to track Super Hearts given to broadcasters. This means broadcasters have to build up about $175 in the digital currency before they can receive payment.
Twitter will take a cut of the payments before they make their way to broadcasters, according to The Verge, as will Apple or Google through their in-app purchase processing.
To recap, users buy Coins that they can turn into Super Hearts that can be then given to a broadcaster. The broadcaster stores those hearts as Stars and can redeem them for cash. Seems rather complicated.
But investors are sending shares of Twitter higher after the news.
Shares of Twitter are up 4.7% on the day Twitter announced the new feature, which mirrors similar content-creator compensation programs from Periscope’s rivals. YouTube shares a cut of the advertising dollars surrounding a user’s videos, and Twitch users can subscribe and “cheer” on their favorite broadcasters to support them. YouTube is owned by Alphabet and Twitch is owned by Amazon.
The Super Hearts program seems like a good start if the goal is to incentivize users to broadcast more, but seems like it has a way to go before it becomes as successful as the similar programs from YouTube and Twitch.
- Markets Insider