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Get ready to Handle: Youtube’s latest feature

Google recently announced that it would be introducing a ‘handles’ feature on Youtube. These are unique identifiers meant to help users find and connect with the creators of their choice.

Unlike channel names, Youtube handles would be unique; quashing the fear of impersonators; and offered for every channel. The handles are also said to work as unique channel URLs for every channel, for example, youtube.com/@mychannel.

While previously, only creators with 100+ subscribers were allowed this feature, the new update will enable unique URLs for every channel. A level-playing move? Indeed!

Alright then, now that the basics are understood, let’s take you through the deets:

When can we expect to be handled

YouTube has announced the 14th of November as the date for people to choose their handles, after which the social media platform will automatically assign you one based on your channel name. But this can be changed at any point from youtube.com/handle because Youtube is chill.

Another important thing to note is that the rollout would be gradual. This is because there are billions of channels on the platform and the update needs time to make up for the big numbers.

Also, since all handles must be unique and every channel on YouTube will have one, the timing of when a creator will get access to the handle-selection process will depend on a number of factors.

This includes overall YouTube presence, subscriber count, and whether the channel is active or not, etc.

In the majority of instances, if you already have a personalized URL, the unique part of the URL will automatically become your handle. But If you don’t have a personalized URL or want to change the existing one, you can opt to do so as soon as the notification from the YouTube Studio comes through.

This redirection to the new, handle-based URL is aimed at creating a better, more unified presence for creators on YouTube.

Where will the ‘handle-ing’ take place

In the coming months, handles will appear on channel pages, search results, Shorts player, and more making them instantly and consistently recognizable.

It’ll soon be simpler and faster to mention each other in comments, video descriptions, community posts, etc. For example, you can give a shout-out to a fellow creator through a mention in comments or tag them in the title of a recent collab, helping them increase their visibility and reach new audiences.

Handles will join channel names and help identify a YouTube channel furthermore. But unlike channel names, handles will be truly unique to each channel so creators will be able to further establish their distinct presence and brand on YouTube.

How to: handle

Your handle must follow these guidelines according to Youtube:

  • It must be between 3-30 characters
  • It must be made up of alphanumeric characters (A–Z, a–z, 0–9)
  • It can also include: underscores (_), hyphens (-), periods (.)
  • It shouldn’t be URL-like or phone number-like
  • It shouldn’t be used by someone else. Duh.

How do you create a channel though?

When you start contributing to the YouTube community for the first time (for example, by making a comment or uploading a video), a channel gets created automatically and you get prompted to select a handle name.

As for choosing an apt handle name, think about a name that best represents your public identity on Youtube. Get creative, get thinking, and put your best hand-le forward! 😉

Note: Supervised users will not have access to handles.

That’s all the information and handle puns for now! To find out more, check out YouTube’s Community Guidelines. And for other things pertaining to digital marketing, keep reading our blogs!