Did you catch wind of the latest news? YouTube has introduced social handles to foster more engagement between creators and their fans. Similar to handles on other applications, you can now “tag” creators to mention them in comments, search for channels using their YouTube handle, and enjoy other exciting features.
The most significant improvement is that YouTube handles are now connected to your channel’s URL. As a result, the URL format has changed and now appears like this:
Of course, channel links have existed long before handles were introduced. Consequently, if you’re a creator, you might have two burning questions:
- What exactly is my YouTube handle?
- Can I modify my YouTube handle?
- What happens to the previous URL(s) associated with my channel?
In this article, we’ll provide answers to these queries and shed light on how YouTube handles function.
Understanding YouTube Handles
YouTube handles are distinctive channel identifiers that start with the “@” symbol. For instance, our handle on YouTube is @vidiq.
These concise names are designed to assist you in locating and connecting with other creators. While browsing YouTube, you’ll notice handles appearing in comments, within YouTube Shorts, and whenever someone mentions you.
It’s important to note that YouTube handles are different from channel names. Changing your handle will have no effect on your channel name because they are two distinct labels.
Additionally, channel URLs now depend on your handle. For example, our handle is @vidiq, and our new channel URL is youtube.com/@vidiq. When you paste this link into a web browser (youtube.com/@vidiq), it will take you to our YouTube channel’s homepage.
Handles are gradually rolling out, and by November 14, 2022, most creators should have received an email prompting them to select a handle. If not, YouTube will automatically assign one for you.
Finding Your YouTube Handle
If you’re unsure about your current handle because YouTube assigned it to you, here’s how you can find it:
- Sign in to YouTube and navigate to the YouTube Studio.
- Select Customization from the left navigation menu.
- Choose Basic Info.
- Go to the Handle section to view your handle.
Modifying Your YouTube Handle
To change your YouTube handle, follow these steps:
- Visit youtube.com/handle and click on Change Handle.
- Type in your desired handle or select one from the suggested options. Then, click Confirm.
Recommendations for Crafting Your YouTube Handle
What guidelines should you follow when creating YouTube handles? On this support page, YouTube provides a few requirements to keep in mind:
- Aim for a handle length of 3-30 characters.
- Utilize alphanumeric characters (A-Z, a-z, 0-9).
- You can use underscores (_), hyphens (-), and periods (.) if desired.
- Avoid making it resemble a URL or phone number.
- Ensure it is unique.
- Make sure it aligns with YouTube’s Community Guidelines.
The Fate of Legacy URLs on YouTube
Your channel’s existing URLs will not disappear from YouTube. Instead, they will redirect visitors to your handle URL, which leads to the same destination as before: your channel’s homepage.
Depending on when you created your channel, any of the following URLs could be associated with your account:
- Channel ID URL: This link utilizes your channel ID, which consists of both numbers and letters. Here’s an example: youtube.com/channel/UPTCLFA9jIKrKroO8LcyREFJ.
- Custom URL: Formerly, this URL could be personalized once your channel surpassed 100 subscribers. Here’s an example: youtube.com/c/vidiq.
- Username URL: This is an older link format that included YouTube usernames (no longer required). Here’s an example: youtube.com/user/vidiq.
All of these links will function as expected.
Can You Still Establish a Custom URL for Your Channel?
You can no longer set up a custom YouTube URL or modify an existing one now that handles are in place. Whenever someone uses an old URL for your channel (including custom URLs), YouTube will redirect them to your handle URL.
The Significance of Naming Your YouTube Channel
While YouTube handles may be the exciting new feature, don’t underestimate the importance of a good channel name. While handles facilitate interaction with others, your channel name remains distinct. You can use your channel name to better explain your niche and attract the right audience.
If you need guidance, here’s how you can choose the perfect YouTube channel name.
Remember, for more information about YouTube and its features, visit Mr Reviews.