YouTube has introduced unique handles for account holders which will now appear on channel pages and Shorts, the company said on Monday. Users will now be able to easily identify creators by their username, and tag them in comments, community posts, video descriptions, and other sections of YouTube that allow for user interaction. Handles will be available in addition to channel names, which have traditionally been the only way to identify a YouTube Channel or user. However, unlike channel names, handles will apply across the platform , which will allow creators to further establish a distinct presence and brand on YouTube, according to Google.
“We want to ensure creators can craft an identity as unique as their content, while giving viewers the confidence that they are interacting with their favourite creators,” YouTube said in its blog post announcing the introduction of handles on its platform. The move will also minimize impersonator accounts that have become prevalent on YouTube. It is worth noting that usernames are already supported on rivals TikTok and Instagram.
Handles will be rolled out gradually to YouTube users, starting this week, according to the company blogpost. The company says that it is rolling out support for handles gradually, because they will be unique and every channel on YouTube will have one.
YouTube says that users will receive a notification when they will become eligible to choose a handle name for themselves. Eligibility for handles will be determined by factors including overall presence on the platform, subscriber count, and whether the channel is active, according to the blogpost.
Users who have already created a personalised URL for their YouTube channels will automatically receive the URL extension as their handle name by default. Users may choose to change this once they receive an eligibility notification to claim their desired handle name, according to the company.