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Improving Custom URLs on YouTube

By Tom Leung

Product Management For Creator

At YouTube, we want to make it as easy as possible for fans to find and watch your channel. That's why we've spent years building the tools to help your audience stay on top of your videos -- from subscriptions, to notifications, and even custom URLs.

Last year, we announced that YouTube no longer requires a Google+ profile when you want to upload, comment, or create a channel. As part of this change, today we’re launching a new custom URL system that works independently from Google+ and also unifies your identity across YouTube.

Currently, we have two systems for claiming a custom URL:


  • A YouTube system that generates URLs in this format: youtube.com/ChannelName
  • A system integrated with Google+ that generates URLs like this: youtube.com/c/ChannelName


With these two systems in place, we began to see instances where two channels could request URLs with similar names in these two different formats. This is confusing for fans, and not a great experience for creators either.

Our new system will fix that problem. With today’s launch, both URLs from the older systems will now point to the same channel. This means that, in our previous example, users can now reach the same channel with either youtube.com/ChannelName or youtube.com/c/ChannelName. And with a new system in place, we’ll also avoid duplicating channel names in the future. This also means that claiming a new YouTube custom URL does not involve a custom URL for your Google+ profile, and vice versa.

We believe this is a positive change for the millions of channels that have custom URLs today, as well as those who will request one in the future. However, as we make this transition, there is a group of less than 0.02% of channels with custom URLs who will have to claim a new URL due to duplication conflicts -- when youtube.com/ChannelName and youtube.com/c/ChannelName point to different channels. If you are part of this group, you will be notified and can claim a brand new custom URL from your channel’s advanced account settings until May 31, 2017 to make this change.

We are making every effort to work with creators to find a solution that supports their needs on YouTube. That’s why we created custom URLs in the first place and we’re excited about how this change will benefit both fans and creators in the long term.