Claim your YouTube handle

On any platform, from Twitter to Instagram to Google Docs, the practice of naming and tagging someone by typing an “@” symbol followed by the chosen name or handle is now well established, but YouTube is still catching up.

The internet’s largest video site has only just gotten around to introducing handles to its users, giving everyone on the platform an easier way to interact, appreciate and generally keep in touch.

“Each channel has a unique handle, making it easier for fans to discover content and interact with creators they love,” YouTube says. For now, handles exist alongside channel names and custom channel URLs, so a page with a custom URL can be reached at that address and also a new youtube.com/@handle address.

If you have a YouTube channel, so you’ve uploaded at least one video or left at least one comment on the platform, you’ll eventually get a handle. How quickly you are invited depends on the number of subscribers and how active you are on YouTube. You can find an official FAQ about how handles work here.

Choosing a handle

You may receive an email asking you to choose your YouTube handle.

YouTube via David Nield

YouTube is slowly rolling out the levers, with high-profile creators getting access first. When the time comes, you’ll receive an email in your inbox for the account you registered with YouTube: Look for an email that says “You can now choose your YouTube address.” When you log in to YouTube studioyou may also see a message saying “It’s time to pick your handle” with a Choose now button attached.

Click on this button or the Choose a handle link in the email you received to get started. Remember, this handle will identify you throughout the site, in mentions and comments and videos, so it’s worth thinking about the one you’ll be using, while also factoring in the usernames you use on other social media. media sites, of course.

In some cases, YouTube has already created a reserved username for you based on your existing channel URL or username. If there is a handle saved for you, you will see it appear first – click Change handle and you can confirm that you accept the choice or edit the handle to something else. When you’re done, click Confirm selection. You’ll see a confirmation screen and a new URL linking to your channel page.

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