What are the new YouTube handles and how do you make one?

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Almost every major social media platform on the planet has handles. They are specific and unique username-like identifiers that help people quickly and easily locate each other online. Until recently, YouTube was among the few platforms without one. Now, that’s changing.

Handles are not to be confused with channel names. Handles are like social security numbers whereas channel names are like home addresses. Handles allow users to directly tag each other in the comments section, search people online, and will be displayed in the URL search bar so that at the end of every dot com will be your specific handle name instead of the mishmash of random letters and numbers that existed there previously. 

What are the eligibility requirements for handles?

Unlike custom URLs, YouTube announced that every channel, even including those with under 100 subscribers or accounts that aren’t content-creating channels, will be able to create a handle. In that vein, custom handles do not need to match the channel’s name as was previously required of custom URLs. Users can make handles as unique as they like as long as it follows YouTube’s community guidelines and is under 30 characters.

When will YouTube roll the feature out to the public?

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Beginning Oct 10, YouTube announced that “every channel will have a unique handle, making it easier for fans to discover content and interact with creators they love.” 

“Handles will appear on channel pages and Shorts, so they’ll be instantly and consistently recognizable. It’ll soon be simpler and faster 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.”

Over the course of a month, YouTube will slowly roll the feature out to the public, beginning with channels that have a large presence and following. Channels that are inactive will be among the last to choose a handle, but will still be able to choose a handle nonetheless. Every channel must choose a handle by Nov. 14 or will be automatically assigned one by YouTube.

How do I make a YouTube handle?

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YouTube will directly contact you through both email and YouTube Studio to let you know it’s time to create a handle. If you fail to create one by Nov. 14 YouTube will automatically assign one for you based on your channel’s name. Until you’ve heard directly from YouTube there’s not much else to do but wait.

Once you’ve created a handle you will be able to edit it here. In the meantime, it’s time to start brainstorming what you want your handle to be.