YouTube wants to be a place of interaction between creators and regular users. To do this, it announced that it would roll out a new feature, asking creators to create their own @name handles.
Gone are the days when conventional platforms focus on their basic purposes. For instance, Instagram is slowly becoming a video-focused app, leaving behind its original use as a simple picture-sharing platform to become more like TikTok. The same thing is happening on Facebook, which is also now focusing on Reels. And now, here is YouTube, one of the earliest video-sharing platforms, which is now hoping to become more like a social media platform.
This week, YouTube said that it would let its creators choose their own name handles, giving them a better way to establish their own presence better online. And aside from making it harder for others to replicate famous channels, it will make it easier for everyone to interact with others by simply mentioning their own handles in the comment section, community posts, video descriptions, and more.
“For many creators, YouTube isn’t just a place to upload and comment on videos, it’s a community and home base,” Youtube says on its blog. “That’s why today we’re introducing handles, a new way for people to easily find and engage with creators and each other on YouTube. Every channel will have a unique handle, making it easier for fans to discover content and interact with creators they love.”
According to YouTube, the handles will be visible on the channel pages and Shorts for easier recognition of creators. It will add to the already existing channel names, making it a more specific way of user identification within YouTube. Additionally, having one will automatically create a matching handle-based URL (even if the user already has a personalized URL), so visiting a specific creator’s channel will be easier and more systematic.
Unfortunately, the feature wouldn’t be rolled out at once to everyone on YouTube. This means others would get the chance to pick their own handles earlier than the others. YouTube also says some factors will be considered before a user is notified.
“Over the next month, we will notify creators when they can choose a handle for their channel,” explains YouTube. “In most cases, if a channel already has a personalized URL, that will automatically become their default handle, or they can opt to change the handle for their channel as soon as the notification in YouTube Studio comes through. Because handles must be unique and every channel on YouTube will have one, we’re rolling them out gradually. The timing of when a creator will get access to the handles selection process depends on a number of factors, including overall YouTube presence, subscriber count and whether the channel is active or inactive.”