While most of today’s top livestreaming platforms allow creators to tip their favorite broadcasters with a variety of virtual gifts, Twitter’s Periscope has been a holdout in terms of in-platform monetization opportunities — until now.
Periscope today announced the launch of Super Hearts — not to be confused with Super Chats, a monetization feature that YouTube unveiled for its livestreaming platform earlier this year. Super Hearts are an extension of Periscope’s standard hearts, which viewers can send for free as a means of applause. However, Super Hearts are larger, animated, and can only be sent when a broadcaster is live.
In order to purchase Super Hearts, users must buy ‘coin’ packages via the Apple app store or Google Play. One dollar buys roughly 1,050 coins. Coins can then be used to purchase three different types of Super Hearts, per The Verge: basic Super Hearts that cost 33 coins, Super Hearts with a profile picture that are worth 66 coins, and deluxe Super Hearts — which feature a profile picture and a sparkle effect — that are priced at 111 coins.
At the same time that it launched Super Hearts, Periscope has also launched an accompanying Super Broadcaster Program, whereby pre-approved creators will be able to convert their Super Heart earnings into cold-hard cash. A leaderboard will also be displayed during streams, showcasing the most generous donors, in order gamify the gift-giving component.
Coins are transformed into ‘stars’ once they are received by broadcasters. Once a creator receives 185,000 stars — which is the same as 185,000 coins, and which is valued at roughly $175, according to The Verge — they can cash them out for actual money. Broadcasters can only cash out stars one time per month. The Apple and Google app stores take a 30% cut of any earnings, as does Periscope, with creators pocketing the rest.
In addition to the Super Broadcaster Program, Periscope also launched a separate VIP Program late last year, which serves as a benefits initiative to give top broadcasters opportunities and tools to help them grow audiences.