YouTube Is Adding ‘Handles’ To Usernames. What’s The Catch For Creators And Brands?

Updated: October 13, 2022
youtube handles

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It seems that you are going to have to handle finding a new username for your YouTube Channel. 

As TikTok grows, more platforms want to look like (and be like) it. Hence, the introduction of YouTube Shorts is no coincidence. Now, the biggest platform for videos is going to adopt the @username handles for creators and channels—which is not something that came from TikTok, as basically all the main social channels like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter also use it.

This is going to be the new way of sharing the name or url of a YouTube Channel. 

The initiative is already starting, however not for everyone. Over the month of October, the platform will let the creator know when it’s their turn to change their handle.

A unique handle for your YouTube Account 

Just like Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok, the username must be unique. 

However, the developers understand that some creators already have personalized URLs for their channels. In these cases, there is no need to update links. They will automatically be redirected to the creator. 

In theory, here are some improvements we will see after this update:

  • It is going to be easier to mention a creator;
  • It will help reachability;
  • There will be a distinct presence and branding opportunity on YouTube.

What’s new about it?

The handles itself offers nothing new. I remember how Twitter was the first in popularizing these features. It was very easy to remember the username of your friend or favorite artists you wanted to follow. 

However, some users have shown some discomfort about not being able to change their handle as quickly as some users. This means if you have a very common name such as “John Doe” you might have a hard time trying to find a new username. So, you have to be very creative.

The importance of cross-channel strategies 

A good marketer understands that not all social media are profitable for the same brands. However, your audience is probably following you on more than just a single platform. Also, the audience is not always the same. So, it’s ok if you are on YouTube and TikTok at the same time. 

If you understand the cross-channel trait of Digital Marketing, you want people to find you in the spaces you are in. It seems that with these new handles YouTube is inviting creators to share their @username in a more easy and practical way. In consequence, there are more possibilities to share it online and offline.  

Does everybody want to be TikTok?

First, YouTube Shorts, now new handles. It is very interesting how the older platforms are looking for new ways to appeal to the next generations and to remain relevant in business. However, YouTube is still going to be a leader when it comes to longer content, such as video podcasts. 

However, some creators might have a hard time finding a username (if it is not already taken), since this initiative is going to be applied gradually for the rest of the month. As a result, some creators will have the privilege of changing their handles first. 

In the end, that is what Digital Marketing is all about: adapting to the market’s needs and overcoming changes.

Do you want to continue to be updated with Marketing best practices? I strongly suggest that you subscribe to The Beat, Rock Content’s interactive newsletter. There, you’ll find all the trends that matter in the Digital Marketing landscape. See you there!


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