All YouTube users will soon be able to identify themselves in a new way. The company stated today that @name handles will be employed across the platform, a widespread practice on the internet but a first for YouTube.
“Every channel will have a unique handle, making it easier for fans to discover content and interact with creators they love,” YouTube said.
Handles will display on channel pages and Shorts, making them easily and consistently identifiable. Users will soon be able to mention one another in comments, community postings, video descriptions, and other places.
“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,” YouTube said.
Handles are a new method to identify a YouTube channel, however unlike channel names, handles are actually unique to each channel, allowing creators to further build their individual presence and identity on YouTube.
Over the next month, YouTube will notify creators when they will be able to choose a handle for their channel. The company also stated that if a channel already has a personalized URL, that would become their default handle, or they can choose to alter their channel’s handle as soon as the notification in YouTube Studio arrives.
“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,” YouTube said.