YouTube has announced a rather ubiquitous social media concept called "handles" today, and this move is to boost the community aspects of the platform as well as improve the overall identification of the creator or the channel.
As compared to the channel names, handles are "truly unique to each channel so creators can further establish their distinct presence and brand on YouTube." They will appear prominently on the channel pages and Shorts, and they will serve the goal of being "instantly and consistently recognizable."
YouTube Is Making It Easier for Everyone to Find Their Creators and Tag Them
Aside from identification and branding, handles will also allow for a simpler and faster mention in the comments, community posts, as well as video descriptions.
For example, creators can be shouted out in a mention in comments or tagged in the title of a recent collab, helping them increase visibility and reach with new audiences.
As far as the availability is concerned, creators will be notified "over the next month" When they choose a handle. Channels that already have personalized URLs will automatically have it become their default handle. However, “they can opt to change the handle for their channel as soon as the notification in YouTube Studio comes through.”
Meanwhile, a matching youtube.com/@[handle] URL will be created:
If a channel already has a personalized URL, there’s no need to update links: they’ll automatically be redirected to the new, handle-based URL to create a better, more unified presence for creators on YouTube.
Thankfully YouTube has been kind enough to post an FAQ here, and the platform also states that the rollout is going to be gradual. The handle selection process is based on factors such as “overall YouTube presence, subscriber count, and whether the channel is active or inactive.”
You can read all about the new YouTube handles here.
Do you think handles are something that the platform should have introduced a long time ago? Let us know your thoughts.