YouTube handles: unique URL for each channel

YouTube will finally give @uniquenames – which are human-understandable – to every channel on the platform.

On Monday, the video giant announced it was introducing handles, which it described as “a new way for people to easily find and interact with creators and each other on YouTube.” YouTube handles will appear on channel pages and shorts, making it “easier and faster to mention each other in comments, community posts, video descriptions and more,” explained the service.

For every existing channel – YouTube says there are billions – the platform will create a corresponding URL (eg youtube.com/@handle) which will direct visitors to the channel’s page. Previously, only creators with 100 or more followers were eligible for a vanity URL. For everyone else, their YouTube channel URL was a hashed unique ID, consisting of a random string of alphanumeric characters.

Grips can be used on YouTube in different ways. For example, creators can tag other people in the title of a recent collaboration using the handles or thank them in the description or comments.

The platform is gradually rolling out the ability for YouTube channel owners to choose a handful. Users will be notified via email and in YouTube Studio when they can select one. If you don’t choose a nickname by November 14, YouTube will start assigning nicknames based on channel names; users will be able to change their nickname from youtube.com/handle.

If a channel already has a custom URL, YouTube says that in the majority of cases it will automatically redirect to the new URL based on the handle. According to YouTube, other URL creators have established that they will continue to redirect to their channels (at the new URL).

According to YouTube, when a creator will have access to the handle selection process depends on a number of factors, including “overall YouTube presence, number of subscribers, and whether the channel is active or inactive.”

Watch a YouTube video shared on the grips:

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