Twitter on Wednesday announced a new way for Periscope streamers to monetize their content by debuting Super Hearts, a feature that provides viewers with the option of sending digital gifts to their favorite broadcasters. The functionality was introduced as a virtual ecosystem of sorts, boasting a wide variety of virtual goods that can be purchased and sent to streamers. All gifts are called Super Hearts and can only be acquired and sent to people during live streams, the company said, adding that the goods are obtainable with Periscope coins, a digital currency that can be purchased with real money. While the social media platform is offering up to 132,650 coins for $99.99, the currency starts at $0.99, which will net you 1,050 coins. Periscope coins can then be used for acquiring three tiers of Super Hearts, priced at 33, 66, and 111 denominations of the firm's virtual currency, respectively, and primarily differing in terms of how noticeable they are when attached to one's broadcast.
Once sent, Super Hearts appear on profiles as stars of varying characteristics, and broadcasters will need at least 185,000 of them in order to request a payout from the service. The convoluted system essentially allows you to cash out after receiving $175 in gifts, though the Twitter-owned platform said payments are limited to one per month for the time being and there's currently no indication of the company planning to make that restriction more flexible in the future or start paying out lower figures. The main caveat is that Apple or Google will take a 30-percent cut of that figure, depending on whether Periscope coins used for acquiring Super Hearts were purchased on the iOS App Store or Google Play Store, in addition to Twitter's service taking approximately 30 percent of what remains. That still amounts to around $87 for a minimal payout, though it's significantly less than what the coin amount may lead broadcasters to believe.
Streamers looking to benefit from the new system must apply for the service's newly introduced Super Broadcasters platform that will present them with regular tax forms to fill and is currently limited to people in the United States. The company said it will expand the initiative to more countries in the future but has yet to provide more details on the matter.