Proving that you can teach an old dog new tricks, YouTube is adopting an old idea to offer a new way for users to easily and quickly communicate with each other on the platform and offer marketers an easier way to drive traffic to a profile – presenting YouTube handles.
What is a YouTube handle?
As explained by YouTube:
“Handles are a new unique identifier (example @youtubecreators) & ALL YouTube channels will have one. Your unique @handle will help people find & interact with you & your YouTube channel. And because handles are unique (unlike channel names), it’s easy to confirm if you’re engaging with the right person or not.”
As you can see in this example, your @handle, which will be unique to your channel (unlike Channel names), will directly connect people to your content, like it does on Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, etc.
Why did YouTube roll out handles?
With more than one billion users worldwide, the short-form video platform TikTok has become a major player in the world of social media and other platforms have been looking for ways to compete with it. One of the features TikTok offers is the ability to engage in conversation through posts. By adding @username handles, YouTube is hoping to generate similar usage.
How do you choose a YouTube handle?
Once you receive the email and notification from YouTube Studio, here’s what you’ll need to do:
- Click on the blue Choose a Handle button
- Once you’re taken to the page, type in your preferred handle (you can choose up to 30 characters and use numbers, underscores, or periods)
- To save changes, click on Confirm Selection
When can users choose a YouTube handle?
Over the next few weeks, YouTube will be opening up access for all YouTube channels to choose a unique @handle. Just note that if you take no action, YouTube will start assigning its own handles, based on your current channel name, beginning on November 14th.