YouTube's New Handle System

Written by: Samantha Russell

YouTube has taken over the internet as its number-one source for video content. Hosting over two billion active users in 2022, it’s not hard to see why so many financial advisors choose to upload to the site. As popular as it is, it’s no surprise that YouTube is looking for new ways to evolve its technology and make it easier for users to socialize and communicate.

Thus comes the introduction of YouTube handles. As it currently stands, many users have their names on display, but YouTube aims to change that to match other social media platforms such as Twitter or Instagram. 

What is a YouTube Handle?

With the introduction of user handles, YouTube creators and users can now create and customize a unique and recognizable display name. For example, instead of “Pete Thomas”, the channel can now be called “Stateside Financial Advisors.” 

YouTube handles allow individual creators, businesses, and financial advisors to establish a name related to — or different from — their channel name, and to use this name to tag their channel across other social media outlets. Now is the perfect time to claim your business’ name as your handle to help establish yourself on the site. 

The Benefits of a YouTube Handle

The introduction of any new feature always brings a set of benefits to both users and creators. In this case, the addition of handles is amazing for businesses, advisory firms, and brands. It’s first important to remember that before handles were added, most channels just had the name of their user. So it wasn’t very easy to stand out, but that’s not the case anymore.

The biggest and most noticeable benefit is now the ability to stand as a brand on the platform. Being able to set your handle to your business’s name makes establishing a brand that much easier. Handles now appear on your channel page and shorts, making them faster to recognize, tag, and mention in comments. A big selling point for this change was the increase in social engagement and communication between channels and their viewers, along with user-to-user interaction.

Handles will make it easier for businesses to establish their brands, communicate with their audience, and overall engage with the platform.

How to Set a YouTube Handle

All users will be able to set their own handle and that starts with a notification from YouTube in your email and on YouTube Studio. Once you’ve been notified that you can add a handle follow these simple steps:

  1. Go to on a computer or on a mobile device with the YouTube app.
  • If you don’t have the YouTube app installed, you’ll be prompted to download it.
  1. Select Choose handle or Change handle.
  • You may already have a reserved handle based on your custom URL.
  1. Type in the handle field to check the availability of your preferred handle.
  • You can also choose one of the suggested handles or the pre-filled handle based on your channel name.
  1. Once you’ve found an available handle, click Confirm selection.

It’s also important to remember that all handles have a guideline that must be followed when creating them. Here is the guideline all users must follow when creating a handle:

  • Is between 3-30 characters
  • Is made up of alphanumeric characters (A–Z, a–z, 0–9)
  • Your handle can also include: underscores (_), hyphens (-), periods (.)
  • Is not URL-like or phone number-like
  • Is not already being used
  • Follows YouTube’s Community Guidelines

Promoting Your Channel Using Your Handle

Now that you have a shiny new handle, promoting your channel will be easier than ever. Think of marketing it like you would a website or other social media. It’s important to provide a reason why people should check out your channel and its newly crafted handle. 

The handle should mainly be used as an anchoring point, it doesn’t really affect your promotion in the way you might think. But it does make it easier for people to find your content. Instead of wading through a sea of channels with the name Tom David, they can now find your handle instantly. Take advantage of this newfound handle and get the name out there as much as possible.

Related: 4 Video Marketing Ideas for Financial Advisors