YouTube will soon launch account handles (@usernames) for all users. This is a huge change for the company and will most definitely change how the platform works – both for users and creators. Handles are how the whole internet operates right now (Thanks Twitter), so YouTube is sort of late to the party.
The company says handles will appear on channel pages and Shorts, so they’ll be instantly and consistently recognisable.
YouTube @usernames will be unique unlike channel names, and this will definitely force brands and people to rush to secure their account handles, as they’ve across other social platforms. To make it fair for existing creators, the rollout will come on a priority basis with existing creators having the feature first.
The company says it will notify creators when they can choose a handle for their channel. Channels that already have a personalized URL (e.g. YouTube.com/TechishKenya) will have that as their default handle. Should they wish, they can opt to change the handle for their channel as soon as the notification in YouTube Studio comes through.
When will you get to choose your YouTube Username?
The timing of when a creator will get access to the handles selection process depends on a number of factors, including:
- Overall YouTube presence
- Subscriber count and
- Whether the channel is active or inactive.
With handles, you will be able to mention each other in comments, community posts, video descriptions and more. 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.
The new move will see YouTube potentially increase number of brands and users coming to the platform in a bid to secure their username, get verified and reach more audiences.