YouTube revealed its intentions to update its desktop site and mobile apps with a range of new features in July.
Now, one of those new functions – the fan-funding option- has been quietly rolled out in four countries by the video streaming service.
As part of the new feature, viewers can donate money to their favourite YouTube channels via the desktop site and mobile apps.
Initially noticed by Android Police, fan-funding is now available in US, Australia, Japan and Mexico.
Once a channel owner enables the function users will notice a pop-up appear on YouTube that allows fans to donate $1, $5 or a custom amount, which only the recipient will see. You can also add a comment of gratitude to go with your gift.
Google’s cut of the donations will be 5 percent and a small fee ($0.21 in the US).
Popular YouTube channels now enjoy millions of views on a regular basis, with the service making stars of some of its best-loved broadcasters.
According to new research, YouTube now attracts more than 1 billion viewers per month, watching 6 billion hours of video, with almost 40 percent of content viewed on mobile devices.
The monthly view count for the top YouTube channel has increased by a drastic 80 percent over the course of the last year alone.
Music, games and comedy are the three most popular categories on the service. The biggest channel currently belongs to Swedish gamer PewDiePie, who currently holds over 30 million subscribers. Other popular gaming channels include Stampy and The Diamond Minecraft.