You’ve been using YouTube for a while now, and you’ve built up a following of loyal fans. You’ve been thinking about ways to grow your channel even more, and then you hear about handles.
Handles are unique and short channel identifiers separate from channel names, starting with the “@” symbol—for example, @youtubecreators.
So why would you want a Handle?
Well, here are just a few reasons:
- Handles make it easier for people to find and follow your content
- They’re a great way to promote your channel outside of YouTube
- Your legacy personalized URLs will continue to work
- You’ll be able to use your handle in more places over time
The common challenge people have when it comes to handles is not knowing how to create one. Thankfully, it’s a pretty easy process.
Why would I want a Handle?
There are several reasons you might want to consider getting a handle:
Handles make it easier for people to find and follow your content.
We’ve all been there. You’re scrolling through YouTube and find a video you like, but when you look up the channel that posted it, you can’t remember what it was called.
Or, even worse, you think you remember what it was called, but you can’t seem to find it anywhere. With handles, this problem becomes a thing of the past.
Handles are easy to remember and find, so you’ll never lose a follower again.
They’re a great way to promote your channel outside of YouTube.
Handles are the way to go if you’re looking for ways to promote your channel on other social media platforms or even in real life.
We spoke to marketing owner and YouTube content expert Alec Daniel with BlakSheep Creative, and he says, “Handles make it easier for people to find you, and they help create a unified online presence for your brand.”
Alec Daniel, his wife Georgia, and their dog Boomer
And he’s right.
Handles are another way for your brand to be consistent across all social media platforms. So if you’re looking for a way to make your YouTube channel more visible and easier to find, handles are the way to go.
“I can’t stress brand consistency enough,” Daniel says. “It’s so important to have the same name, profile picture, and handle across all social media platforms. It makes you more recognizable and easier to find.”
To learn more about the importance of brand consistency, read this article on BlakSheep Creative’s blog.
Your legacy personalized URLs will continue to work.
You’ve worked so hard on getting followers so that you could get your own personalized URL. And don’t worry; your personalized URLs will still work.
“Some of our clients are freaking out because they have their own custom URL, and they think that’s going to go away,” Daniel says. “But it’s not. Your old URL will still work, and you can keep using it.”
So if you already have a personalized URL, there’s no need to worry about it becoming obsolete. You can keep using it as usual.
You’ll be able to use your handle in more places over time.
The great thing about handles is that they’re not just for YouTube. In the future, you’ll also be able to use them in other places.
“Google owns YouTube, so eventually, I could see handles being used across all Google products,” Daniel says. “It would make sense for them to do that.”
So if you’re looking for a way to make your channel more visible and easier to find, handles are the way to go. Not only will they make it easier for people to find your channel on YouTube, but they’ll also be useful in other places in the future.
How do I create a Handle?
Now that we’ve gone over some of the reasons you might want to consider getting a handle let’s discuss how to create one.
You’ll be notified in YouTube Studio and by email when you can choose your handle. Then all you have to do is:
- Go to youtube.com/handle on a computer or on a mobile device with the YouTube app. (If you don’t have the YouTube app installed, you’ll be prompted to download it.)
- Select Choose handle or Change handle. You may already have a reserved handle based on your custom URL.
- Type in the handle field to check the availability of your preferred handle. You can also choose one of the suggested handles or the pre-filled handle based on your channel name.
- Once you’ve found an available handle, click Confirm selection.
If your preferred handle isn’t available, it’s usually because:
- Another channel already selected that handle
- It didn’t meet Google’s handle naming guidelines.
“Google has always been pretty strict about what you can and can’t have in a YouTube channel name,” Daniel says. “So if your handle doesn’t meet their guidelines, it’s likely that it’s already taken.”
And you’re done! You now have a handle that you can use to promote your channel and make it easier for people to find. So get out there and start using it.
In conclusion, handles are unique identifiers for channels that make it easier for people to find and follow your content.
They’re also great for promoting your channel on other social media platforms or real life.
Creating a handle is easy, and you’ll be notified in YouTube Studio and by email when you can choose your handle. So get out there and start using it!