How to Launch a Confetti Cannon from YouTube Super Chat!
Written by Paul Richards on March 6, 2018
BIG NEWS! YouTube just announced that Super Chats can integrate with IFTTT and allows viewers to trigger actions such as Launching a Confetti Cannon! YouTube just mentioned a bunch of new live streaming features in the YouTube Blog here.
Last year, we introduced a way for Super Chats to trigger real life events. Now creators can set this up for their channels using IFTTT (If This, Then That). Over 600 internet-connected services and devices (like lights, pet feeders and confetti cannons!) can be connected to Super Chat. Super Chat is already available on desktop and Android devices, with support for iOS devices rolling out starting today.
With live streams, you’ve found more intimate and spontaneous ways to share your thoughts, lives, and creativity. Take these features for a spin and show us your world!
Kurt Wilms, Live Video Product Lead
When I saw this I said to myself… I have got to try this. We looked into purchasing a Confetti Canon and learned that it’s not that hard to set up. In this video/blog post, we will show you exactly how to launch a Confetti Cannon and/or any other smart devices using YouTube Super Chat! So exciting to see this workout!
How to Launch a Confetti Cannon Super Chat
This tutorial will cover how to use Super Chat to trigger Smart Devices. Using a SmartLife WiFi plug you can trigger almost any electronic to turn on. When you are choosing an electronic device to turn on initiated with a Super Chat it usually needs to be a Smart Device or a hardwired electric device. For example, we have Philips Hue lights which use a Smart WiFi hub to communicate. IFTTT already supports Philips Hue lights and we were able to change the colors of the lights with a simple configuration. Other electronic devices such as a Confetti Cannon or disco ball will require a Smart WiFi plug that can be turned off an on using a IFTTT Trigger coming from YouTube’s Super Chat.
Step 1: Enable Super Chat
So the first thing you need to do is enable super chat in your YouTube Creator Studio. This can be done in your Channel area where you simply need to enable the setting. NOTE: your channel must be monetized and you must have at least 1,000 subscribers! The process is very simple and it will allow your viewers to start donating to you in the live chatroom on YouTube. If you turn this on you should make sure to acknowledge your audience when they use the Super Chat.
Step 2: Setup IFTTT If This Than That
Now for the fun part. IFTTT will allow you to link a trigger to almost any smart device known to man. The integration support for YouTube Super Chat is already built in. So by default you can turn on or blink things like Philips Hue Lights. You can turn off and on smart WiFi plugs and much more. This is where the Confetti Cannon comes in. You can have a WiFi plug turn on when you receive a Super Chat. Therefore a Confetti Cannon plugged into this WiFi plug would go off when you receive a Super Chat for a certain amount of money. See our video for more information.
Step 3 – Go Live on YouTube!
Now that your YouTube account is setup to support Super Chat and you have Super Chat integrated with IFTTT it’s time to go live. This is how you can start receiving Super Chats and confirm that everything is set up properly. Here are two examples of Super Chats we received on our first live show! Wow we actually made almost $100!!!!
Super Chat Pricing Tiers
So as you can see in the picture above, YouTube is offering us seven unique pricing tiers to trigger events. We have three tiers under $10 and four above $10. We are preparing to Super Chat as a way to raise funds for a non-profit. So we want to think about our target viewer and the value of the super chats they may enter into the live chat. We definitely see that most Super Chats are between $1-5 on most of our live streams. So we want to have a “Gateway” super chat that is fun and exciting. But we also want the value to build to give incentives for folks to see better and better results. This is totally up to you, but I believe our presentation below will give some great ideas.
What we bought for our Super Chat IFTTT Items
I spent a lot of time thinking about which devices would work for Super Chat donations. The most valuable items will light up the imagination of your YouTube live viewers. But it’s not as simple as choosing a cool light up box on Amazon. First of all, most devices are not “Smart Devices”. I actually had a couple items in our studio that already supported IFTTT and worked right out of the box. Those are the Philips Hue lights and Amazon Alexa devices that we had already set up. So as soon as we started our IFTTT account and integrated YouTube we could trigger our Philips Hue lights to blink. While this was great, here is the list of devices we bought to mix things up.
- WiFi Smart Plugs from SmartLife
- Electric Balloon Pump
- Bubble Machine w/ Automatic Blowing Mechanism
- Red Police Beacon Light
- Mini Strobe Light / Siren
So the first device, WiFi Smart Plugs, are what actually turn on the Electronic Balloon pumps, Bubble Machines, Red Police Beacon and Strobe Light. I use SmartLife WiFi Plugs because they already integrate with IFTTT. Once you have them set up with your smartphone app, the plugs will show up as triggers inside IFTTT. Since there are currently 7 tiers of Super Chats, I purchased 8 WiFi plugs for triggering devices. I realized that I really wanted a noise to sound when we receive super chats. I couldn’t find a great device for doing this so, I bought a red siren / strobe light. I hope this isn’t too annoying.
Super Chat Notification Sounds
In doing more research, I found that the LaMetric Clock has a ton of great notification noises for Super Chat. This comes with the built-in IFTTT integration! So, this Smart Clock (which doesn’t require it’s own WiFi plug) will make over 20 unique sounds we can trigger based on the Super Chat Value Tier. So if this was good enough news, I found out that you can deliver custom messages on the Lametric Clock to thank your viewers by automatically displaying their name. I had never heard of this but IFTTT can also pass “Ingredients” which are essentially variables available from the YouTube API from the incoming super chat!
The Lametric smart sign can do everything! It’s really quite genious and I could see our team using it for more than just Super Chat messages! I may even want to have multiple displays for information… The wheels are turning!
Automation and smart devices are incredibly interesting. YouTube is way ahead of the curve here for a couple of reasons. First of all, this shows their support for creators providing an interesting and innovative way to monetize their YouTube channels. Secondly, this is a huge win for live viewers now having the ability to reach into their favorite creator’s space and make something happen in real time. The selection of smart devices is never ending and thinking about turning on electronics in my favorite creator’s workspace is very interesting.
Our first day using Super Chat generated almost $100 and we are a very small YouTube channel. I can see this tool generating million in revenue for creators and engaging live audiences around the world in a way that television could never compete with. This is what I call OTT (Over The Top) entertainment. The YouTube Super Chat IFTTT integration is the most exciting new feature released specifically for the platforms live streaming solution in 2018.
Other new YouTube Live streaming features include:
- Live Chat Replay
- Automatic Live Captioning
- Live Stream Location Tags
- IFTTT integration
Live Chat replay comes as a response to the hugely successful Facebook Live platforms which saves all of the comments. These comments are incredibly valuable to creators and businesses. I always find myself searching through the comments and crowd-sourcing my next video idea. The idea of losing all the chat comments on the YouTube platform was really hurting the platform. Automatic live captioning makes live streams on the platform more accessible to foreign language speaking countries. The location tags will help YouTube build a map of all live streams going on inside the platform. I would imagine this will look a lot like the Facebook Live Map. The Facebook Live Map has been a huge hit and allows viewers to see what’s going on around them in real time. Finally, the IFTTT we have been talking about during this entire blog post. It’s the most exciting to me but all of these features are huge updates to the platform!
Tip Log your Superchat Earnings in Google Sheets!
Inside IFTTT there is an option to log all of your Super Chat information in Google Sheets. This is a great way to keep track of your earning and who is donating to your channel. Sometimes when you are live streaming you can get caught up in the moment and a lot can be happening at once. Once the live stream is over it’s nice to see an organized list of all your Super Chats. We raised $80.99 during an hour of broadcasting during our first try. Later on in the year we will have more devices that our audience can use to turn on with Super Chats. We did not use the different levels of Super Chats to trigger different devices. For example, the DVeStore donated $50. We could have had a special trigger for Super Chat donations over $50. This is done inside IFTTT when you choose the type of Super Chat trigger you would like to use.
Another Tip for vMix Users:
How are we going to keep track of all the donations we are getting? Well, as we just mentioned above we can track everythingin Google Sheets. So that’s a great start. But what about displaying the information live on our YouTube or Facebook video streams. Well, vMix has a feature called “Data Sources” which provides direct integration to Google Sheets. This allows you to pull data from Google Sheets into a vMix Title. I like to have a vMix title prepared that is built for the data. For example. we will use Adobe Photoshop to build a “Fundraiser” title and populate that title with the live Super Chat information being sent to Google Sheets. Pretty cool right?
I wrote a whole blog post on this to explain the Super Chat vMix Title integration in more detail here.
Please let us know if you have any more questions about launching a Confetti Cannon using YouTube’s Super Chat feature!