K-pop band BTS has launched its “Permission to Dance” challenge exclusively on YouTube Shorts, following its global expansion last week, said the YouTube music team in a recent blog post. 

Shorts is YouTube’s short-form vertical video feature first introduced in September 2020. With striking similarity to social media platform TikTok, the feature allows users to “shoot short, catchy videos using nothing but their mobile phones” within the YouTube mobile app, said the video platform. The feature has since added more creation tools, such as a multi-segment camera, allowing recording with music, control speed settings, among others.

The challenge will begin on 23 July and invites anyone across the globe to create a 15-second YouTube Short from the YouTube mobile app to replicate the core dance moves from the boy band’s “Permission to Dance” music video. 

As part of the challenge, BTS will be spotlighting some of their favourite Shorts in a compilation video, so participants are encouraged to use hashtags #PermissiontoDance and #Shorts for their creations to be considered.

Lyor Cohen, YouTube global head of music said that YouTube was humbled to partner BTS on the Permission to Dance challenge on YouTube Shorts, helping to "spread happiness and build lasting connections amongst their fans on YouTube across the globe."

Shin Young Jae, general manager BIGHIT MUSIC added: "Just as ‘Permission to Dance’ sends the message that you don't have to ask anyone for permission to dance, we hope that we can bring people all over the world together to dance along with us, free of any limits or constraint. We are very excited to watch this challenge come to life on YouTube Shorts and can’t wait to see what you all create.” Google did not comment on MARKETING-INTERACTIVE 's queries.

At the same time, YouTube unveiled a new tool for viewers to tip creators called “Super Thanks” yesterday. 

The new feature was previously tested under a different name, “applause”, over the past year, which allowed viewers to purchase a clapping animation which would appear privately to the buyer. The new Super Thanks is currently in beta, and builds upon applause where buyers will now see an animated gif and get a “distinct, colourful comment to highlight their purchase, which creators can respond to,” said YouTube YouTube product manager, paid digital goods, Barbara Macdonald. 

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According to chief product officer Neal Mohan, Super Thanks is YouTube’s fourth Paid Digital Good. The others are namely Super Chat, channel memberships and Super Stickers, launched in 2017, 2018 and 2019 respectively. Macdonald said in an earlier blog post in April that the number of channels that earn a majority of revenue from these products in 2020 was about three times the number from the previous year.

The expanded Super Thanks feature is in line with YouTube’s ongoing initiative to help creators monetise their content, taking inspiration from livestreaming platform Twitch. While Super Thanks allows fans to interact with the creators on regular uploads, its previous Paid Digital Goods Super Chat and Super Stickers were exclusively for YouTube livestreams. Super Chat, similar to Twitch’s Cheering feature, allows viewers to pay to pin their comment at the top of the chat, as well as highlighting it in a different colour to draw the creator’s attention to it. Super Stickers, similar to Twitch’s emotes and cheermotes, let viewers pay for a range of non-animated to animated stickers to use in the livechat. Meanwhile, channel memberships allow viewers member-exclusive content for a fee. The feature is available to a random selection of creators and viewers in 68 countries on desktop as well as Android and iOS mobile devices. The feature will be expanded to all eligible creators in the YouTube Partner Programme later this year. 

In an earlier blog post in February, Mohan teased the introduction of the series of new tools and features set to be released this year. In the blog post, he said that there was a focus on viewer experience and expanding opportunities for content creators. "We’re excited to share how YouTube’s mission to “Give everyone a voice and show them the world” drives our work to improve the platform," said Mohan.

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