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Introducing handles: A new way to identify your YouTube channel

Introducing handles, a new way for people to easily find and engage with creators and each other on YouTube.

For many creators, YouTube isn’t just a place to upload and comment on videos, it’s a community and home base. 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.


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. Handles join channel names as another way to identify a YouTube channel, but unlike channel names, handles are truly unique to each channel so creators can further establish their distinct presence and brand on YouTube.

Over the next month, we will notify creators when they can choose a handle for their channel. 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.

When a creator chooses their handle, we’ll also create a matching URL (ex: so creators can easily direct people to their content when they’re not on YouTube. If a channel already has a personalized URL, there’s no need to update links: they’ll automatically be redirected to the new, handle-based URL to create a better, more unified presence for creators on YouTube.

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 favorite creators. You can read more about handles and commonly asked questions here.