Unsigned Advice

How to Claim Your YouTube Handle in 2024

How to Claim Your YouTube Handle
October 28, 2022
We’re here to walk you through what’s happening, what you need to do and what you can expect from YouTube’s upcoming update.

What is a YouTube handle?

Your YouTube handle will be the main identifier for your channel. Unlike your channel name, handles are unique and make it easy to confirm you’re engaging with the right person.

All YouTube channels will have one and your unique @handle will help people find & interact with you and your Official YouTube channel. Unlike channel names, handles are totally unique, making it easy to confirm if you’re engaging with the right person or not.

Over the next few weeks, YouTube is rolling out access for all channels on the platform to choose their unique @handle name.

If you don’t choose a handle by November 14th, YouTube will automatically assign you one based on your channel name. Don’t worry if you don’t like it, you’ll be able to change it later on.

Why are YouTube introducing handles?

To promote your YouTube channel and make it instantly recognisable, your YouTube handle will appear on both YouTube channel pages and YouTube Shorts. In theory, handles will make it simpler and faster to mention others in comments, community posts, video descriptions and more.

How to claim your YouTube handle - YouTube Shorts

A key opportunity for musicians is being shouted out in a mention in comments or getting tagged in the title of a recent collaboration - boosting your 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.

Can I get a YouTube handle?

Yes - all YouTube channels will receive a handle! The key update from this handle rollout is that you’ll now be able to tag and easily identify all YouTube channels. People will be able to find you and your music easier - as well as being able to tag you in a more similar way to other social platforms like Instagram.

Your handle will also work as a unique channel URL. In the past, only creators with over 100 subscribers were eligible for a custom URL. This update is removing the barrier for independent and upcoming musicians who may not have had a big following on YouTube previously.

With this update, all channels will have a unique URL based on their handle and people will be able to use your handle across YouTube in comments, mentions, in Shorts & more.

How do you get a YouTube handle?

Over the next month or so, YouTube will be notifying creators of when they’re able to choose a handle for their channel. In most cases, if a channel already has a personalised URL, that will be reserved and will automatically become their default handle.

How to claim your YouTube handle - handle reserved

You will have the option to change your channel’s handle as soon as the notification in YouTube Studio comes through.

How to claim your YouTube handle - handles rolling out

As every channel on YouTube will have a handle, they must be unique so it might take a little time for YouTube to roll them all out. The timing of when you will get access to the handles selection process depends on a number of factors, including your overall YouTube presence, subscriber count and whether your channel is active or inactive.

How to claim your YouTube handle - choose your handle

When you come to choose your handle, YouTube will also create a matching URL for your channel. This is great for musicians, as you’ll be able to easily direct people to your content when they’re not on YouTube.

If your channel already has a personalised URL, there’s no need to update your links as they’ll automatically be redirected to the new, handle-based URL. YouTube is doing this in order to create a better, more unified presence for creators on the platform.

How to claim your YouTube handle - confirm your handle

Another potential concern of users is around your verification badge. But not to worry, YouTube is not removing your verification badges when you choose your handle - or if you change your handle!

Overall, this YouTube handle update offers a really exciting opportunity to independent musicians to boost their discoverability and network with fellow creators.

Note: If you change your channel name however, your verification badge will be removed and you’ll have to reapply. Overall, this YouTube handle update offers a really exciting opportunity to independent musicians to boost their discoverability and network with fellow creators.


How to Claim Your YouTube Handle in 2024

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