In a much-needed update, YouTube announced that you’ll soon be able to pick your own handle so people can find your page easier.
Handles work similar to the way usernames do on other social media pages – @handlename for example. Once you pick yours, it’ll come with a URL which will match, making it simple to remember and share.
So, wait, isn’t a handle the same as a YouTube channel name?
Not quite – as explained by digitaltrends:
“While multiple YouTube channels can have the same channel name, YouTube handles are meant to be totally unique to each YouTube channel. So, with this latest update, your channel will have a channel name, a handle, and a URL. The handle is expected to help make finding your specific channel and connecting with the correct creator easier.”
I’m not sure why it’s taken so long for YouTube to bring a username feature to creators, but I’m happy it’s finally here. Before the new update you had to have 100,000 or more subscribers to choose a URL easily recognizable to your brand.
When will you get to pick yours?
The company stated that they’ll be rolling the update over the next several weeks and will notify people via email/YouTube studio when they can choose.
Once you’ve secured your new handle it will start appearing in a few places:
The Shorts Tab
Comments and Mentions
In the future, YouTube stated it will also be “shown in even more places across YouTube” and in “some places” they’ll begin sharing your handle on your channel page.
If you’re one of those folks who has enough followers to have an already personalized YouTube URL it will automatically become your handle as well – you don’t have to pick a new one – but you can change it if you’d like.
There are a few rules to choosing handles:
Just like any other type of social media, it’s possible your handle may not be available because someone else jumped on it first or it doesn’t meet their guidelines (don’t choose something like @MistyXHasBigTits and you’ll probably be fine). And of course, if you aren’t creative, you can let YouTube choose for you, but we’re all creative here, aren’t we? Further rules include a limit of 3-30 characters, and it can’t resemble a URL or phone number.
When the notification arrives in your Inbox/YouTube Studio that it’s time for you to choose, I highly suggest you make your handle the same as your other social media channels – continuity makes it easier for you to remember and easier for your posse and newbies to find you. I also highly suggest you don’t wait until the last minute to pick, or you may not snag your first choice.
Photo credit: iStock.com/hapabapa
Alyssa Collins hails from Minnesota, where snowy days were the perfect excuse to stay warm inside and write. Over the years, she turned that joy into a career and has authored numerous articles for various publications (under pen names). Email Alyssa via email@example.com.