Periscope expands virtual tipping via Super Hearts beyond the U.S.

Twitter’s big push to draw in more live video stars to its Periscope streaming service is now expanding beyond the U.S. The company announced today the Periscope Super Broadcaster program, which allows video stars to earn revenue from their streams through a virtual tipping mechanism, is now available in Canada, Ireland, and the U.K.

Other countries will be added to the program soon, says Periscope.

The program was first introduced this summer as a means of competing with other live video platforms, including Facebook Live, Twitch, and YouTube. The idea is similar to Twitch or YouTube’s emotes, but instead of custom emoji, Periscope offers “Super Hearts.” These are animated icons that fans can buy through in-app purchases to support their favorite streamers.

Initially the program launched with three kinds of Super Hearts, but later added a waving hand icon as well.

Last month, Twitter also bumped up the earnings potential from Super Hearts, by allowing broadcasters to keep more of money they made through Super Hearts sales.

Before, Periscope said it would pay video creators 70 percent of the cash value of Super Hearts, after accounting for Apple and Google’s 30 percent tax on in-app purchases. This changed in November, and now broadcasters can keep all their earnings, minus a $1 “administration fee.” The new policy was meant to both attract new broadcasters as well as retain existing streamers who weren’t happy with the earlier payouts system.

Periscope hasn’t yet shared figures related to how successful the program has been for streamers, nor how much money they’ve collectively made. But it did announce today that community members have sent out 20 million Super Hearts to date.

Broadcasters in the newly added countries can apply to join the program if they meet certain criteria around their minimum star balance, number of broadcasts, and average number of viewers, among other things. Details on those requirements are here.