YouTube will be adding unique account handles for channels as a result of the same experience found on social media platforms.
The @ symbol that appears before a username may be better known when this feature launches (opens in a new tab) and it will be able to mention content creators or other users in order to increase [a videos] visibility and [help it reach] new audiences. YouTube did something similar a while back. Creators might spook out other channels in video titles and descriptions (opens in a new tab) or make people mention others in live chats, but thats as far as it went.
Handles will be used in various locations, including YouTube Shorts, channel pages, video descriptions, and even in the channels URL. Google may be changing these URLs in favor of handles. A YouTube Help page (opens in a new tab) has found that channels can no longer set up custom URLs or modify them, but they will not be altered until the new feature launches.
Launching in waves
According to YouTube, handles will be rolling out in phases. Throughout the remainder of October, creators will be notified (either via email or YouTube Studio) when they will be able to create their handles so they may claim them before anyone else can. Channels that already have a custom URL will automatically be changed to the new system. That unique URL will be the handle moving forward.
According to a different YouTube Help page (opens in a new tab), which channels get their first pick depends on a number of factors, such as presence on the platform, subscriber count, and how active the channel is. Obviously, the biggest channels will be first. There are also concerns that the handles feature will reduce channel impersonators. YouTube is attempting to ensure you, the viewer, are interinteracting with the right creator.
Channels will have until November 14 to select their unique handles, after which, YouTube will create one for you, but they are not set in stone. At any time, you may head on over to the Handle page (opens in a new tab) and change it.
We cant help but understand that this is not a surprise attempt at competing with TikTok. The platform has its own handle, making sense that YouTube would eventually copy it.
YouTube Shorts has been a huge success. Alphabet CEO Sunder Pichat claims the new video format receives more than a billion views daily. As a result, YouTube has been consistent supporting Shorts, adding new features almost every month and allowing users to monetize their content.
Shorts is arguably TikToks true competitor. It will be interesting to see how YouTube continues to build it and what Meta''s response will be. Reels on people has backfired, so a different approach may be in place.