One of YouTube's many problems is video monetization. With the site changing its discovery algorithms constantly, many major creators have turned to services like Patreon to ensure a steady source of income. Now YouTube has decided to shut down its Fan Funding feature, which allowed users to donate to channels with it turned on.
Fan Funding is commonly used during YouTube livestreams, where any donations (along with a message if added) show up in the live chat. In addition, a 'Support' button appears on the main channel page. YouTube's statement suggests new ways to monetize content will be coming in the near future:
We'll be turning off the Fan Funding feature at the end of February 2017. We're building new solutions for creators to monetize content, and for fans to support their favorite creators. Check our Creator Blog for updates.
The feature wasn't without its issues (not supporting recurring donations, for one), but I can't imagine any creators will be happy to hear it.