YouTube launches @username handles to help drive traffic

YouTube is giving users a new way to find and interact directly with content creators by tagging their credentials. Announced via video sharing platform News and events pageit allows channels to use unique identifiers in the @username format.

These handles will appear in comments, video descriptions, and channel pages, among other places, allowing users to quickly tag others.

“It will soon be easier and faster to mention yourself in comments, community posts, video descriptions and more,” YouTube said via the announcement. “For example, creators can be quoted in a mention in the comments or tagged in the title of a recent collaboration, helping them increase their visibility and reach new audiences.”

Grips will be rolling out over the next month, and creators will be notified when they can choose their grip. If a channel already has a custom URL, this will become the default identifier, although this can be changed for a short time after the notification is received.

“When a creator will have access to the handle selection process depends on a number of factors, including overall YouTube presence, number of subscribers, and whether the channel is active or inactive,” YouTube said in the announcement.

Handles join channel names as a unique identifier

In early 2022, YouTube began allowing content creators to change both the name and URL of their channels. These offered branding opportunities to help the channels identify and distinguish themselves.

However, unlike channel names, each ID will be unique, allowing creators to further distinguish their distinct brand. This is similar to IDs and usernames commonly used on other social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Prior to this update, YouTube only offered limited support for using the format. Users can use it in YouTube Live chats to mention other people, or creators can use the @ format to mention channels and video titles, but can only tag another user by replying to their comments .

@Username Format seeks to compete with TikTok

With over one billion users worldwide, the short video platform TikTok has become a major player in the world of social networks. As such, other social media platforms have looked for ways to compete with Facebook launching Reels and YouTube expanding into Shorts.

One of the features offered by TikTok is the ability for users to engage in conversations through posts and the resulting discussions and results. By adding @username handles to channel pages and shorts, YouTube hopes to generate similar usage.

Featured Image: Shutterstock/PixieMe

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