YouTube is introducing handles, a new unique identifier to help promote yourself across the platform.
Unlike channel names, handles are unique and cannot be changed. It works just like the @ mentions on Twitter, such as @digitalmusicnews. Handles generate a custom channel URL that is now open to all YouTube Creators, not just those with at least 100 subscribers.
All YouTube channels will have a handle. In order to comment on YouTube, users will need to create a handle. Even users who don’t create video content must create a handle to comment on videos. YouTube says it is giving creators until November 14 before it starts assigning handles to currently existing YouTube channels.
Will YouTube Creators lose their verification badge if they change their handle?
Google says changing your YouTube handle will not impact your channel’s verification badge. However, if you change your channel name, then the badge will be removed, and you’ll have to re-apply for it.
YouTube says handles will roll out gradually over the next few weeks. Handles will begin appearing in the Shorts player, search results, your channel page, comments, mentions, and many more places. YouTube says everyone should have the ability to choose a new handle by November 14 at the latest.
“Over the next month, we will notify creators when they can choose a handle for their channel,” the official blog post reads. “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.”