YouTube has recently announced that it will be rolling out handles for YouTube Channels, so what does that even mean and how does it affect your channel or your company’s channel?
What is a YouTube handle? How is it different from YouTube channel names?
For the longest time when you searched for your favorite YouTuber or for a company’s YouTube channel, it was like a Google search and a plethora of channels would come up in your search. The downfall of YouTube channel names is that multiple channels can have the same channel name. So, if someone searches for your channel using just the channel name the search result may include multiple channels under the same name. If the channel you were searching for is “popular enough” or if you got the channel name exactly correct then it would be the top search, however, in some cases, you would have to scroll down to find the correct channel that you’re looking for. This would then leave room for error and open the door for competitors to swoop in. Just like a Google search if you or your company isn’t the top search chances are it’s your competition and even higher chances that the person will click on that channel instead. YouTube handles provide another way to identify your YouTube channel separate from your YouTube Channel name. YouTube handles “fix” this problem because they are meant to be completely unique to each YouTube channel to help further establish your distinct presence and brand on YouTube.
YouTube handles look similar to usernames that you’ll find on Instagram or TikTok. If you’re able to have the same name for your YouTube handle and other social media platforms it allows for consistency throughout your social media presence which is a plus! With handles, all YouTube channels will have one, along with a custom URL, no matter how many subscribers the channel has. Handles will then start appearing in places such as search results, the Shorts tab, comments, and mentions. Handles will make it simpler and faster to mention other channels in comments, community posts, video descriptions, and more. For instance, when creators are shouted out in a mention in comments or are tagged in the title of a collaboration video it will help that creator increase their visibility and reach new audiences. This update is also expected to make it easier for searchers to find your specific channel and connect with the correct creator.
So, when can I choose a YouTube handle?
YouTube announced the launch of handles on October 10th, and the company will roll out the ability to choose handles over the next few weeks. If you already have a YouTube channel you should have received an email notification that allows you to choose your YouTube handle. You can then go to youtube.com/handle to pick a handle best fit for your channel. Once you have received that notification you will then have until November 14th to choose a handle. If you have not chosen a handle by that date YouTube will automatically assign you one based on your channel name.
How to choose a YouTube handle best fit for yourself or your company?
First thing is your YouTube handle must adhere to the guidelines:
- It must be made up of alphanumeric characters
- The handle can be uppercase or lowercase and can also have hyphens, underscores, or periods.
- It must be between 3-30 characters
- It cannot be URL-like or phone number-like
- Handles are unique so whatever you choose must not already be claimed by another channel.
- Lastly it cannot violate YouTube’s Community Guidelines
As previously mentioned, it is best practice to be consistent and have your handle name be the same as the username used on your other social media platforms. This will avoid any confusion when people search for you and if they already follow your other social media accounts, they can easily find your YouTube account.
If your company has not already joined YouTube it’s never too late to start! YouTube is a strong and effective way to advertise your company. Be sure to create your channel as soon as possible to ensure you get a YouTube handle that best fits your company before someone else does. If your company needs help getting set up on YouTube or running your video content through YouTube ads give us a call at (972) 243-2211.