How to use YouTube handles?
For each existing channel, the platform will generate a corresponding URL (i.e., youtube.com/@handle) that will redirect viewers to the channel page. Previously, personalized URLs were only available to artists with 100 or more followers. Everyone else’s YouTube channel URL has a hashed unique ID consisting of a random string of alphanumeric characters. Handles may be used in a variety of ways on YouTube. For example, creators may use the handles to tag people in the title of a recent collab or to give them a shout-out in the description or comments.
The platform is progressively allowing YouTube channel owners to select a handle. When users are allowed to choose one, they will be alerted through email and on YouTube Studio. If you don’t pick a handle by November 14, YouTube will start allocating them based on channel names; users can update their handle at youtube.com/handle.
If a channel already has a customized URL, YouTube claims it will be transferred to the new, handle-based URL in most situations. Other URLs that artists have established will continue to redirect to their channels, according to YouTube (at the new handle URL).
According to YouTube, the timing of when a creator will have access to the handles selection process is determined by a variety of criteria, including “overall YouTube presence, subscriber count, and whether the channel is active or inactive.”
Younglings are teaching the old dog new tricks; let’s see if this change can make YouTube claw some revenue from that short attention span video market while combating impersonation.