A lot of podcast listening takes place on YouTube. And with YouTube officially stepping into the podcast-sphere earlier this year, the platform’s relationship with our medium will likely continue to strengthen. For podcasters, uploading your content to YouTube is great for expanding your reach and becoming more discoverable. YouTube Handles could help take this to the next level, too.
Right now, YouTube is already rolling out unique Handles for its users. All creators and viewers are eligible to get one, and users have received an alert from YouTube to reserve a handle.
Handles are not necessarily a new feature across other platforms. However, they are definitely more useful on YouTube. YouTube isn’t purely a social media site, it’s also the second most-used search engine after Google. Handles are good for all YouTube users, but they are also a new and exciting way for podcasters to get their content noticed.
What Are Handles?
Handles are unique short channel-identifying features on YouTube. They are used to find and connect with creators on the platform. Handles are different from channel names because there can be many different channels with the same name, whereas each handle is unique.
Just like on Twitter, Instagram, and similar platforms, Handles begin with the “@” symbol (for instance, @muzhingakankinda1938). Each channel is restricted to one handle only.
You might think that this is nothing we haven’t seen before. However, YouTube Handles come with a lot of functions that can help podcasters get noticed both on and off of YouTube.
How Can YouTube Handles Increase Visibility for Podcasters?
YouTube noted the advantages of Handles when it announced the release of the feature. Some of the functions noted were:
Creators can use their Handles to locate and interact with other creators as well as subscribers.
Handles are designed to appear on every YouTube channel’s main and Shorts pages. This will make visitors aware of who they are interacting with at first glance. Podcasters can use this function to sell themselves and their podcasts to other creators and their viewers.
Just like how content creators tag their collaborators and creative partners in comments and content, Handles lets viewers follow these links to a creator’s page. Podcasters can leverage this opportunity by sharing links to their podcasts and tagging others to them. Other users can also tag them on other channels to get more visibility.
Unique & Personalised URLs
Handles are unique to the extent that only one account uses a particular handle. This helps people interacting with a brand to know that they are tagging the real owner of the channel and not an imposter or third-party account. This gives podcasters an advantage because their links, works, and content cannot be claimed by anyone else.
Automatic Creation of URLs
A handle automatically turns into a creator’s new YouTube URL for their channel (for instance, youtube.com/@the_podcasthost).
In the past, you could create a customised URL on the platform, but you needed at least 100 subscribers, first. Those who have created customized YouTube URLs for their channels in the past will have that URL as their handle by default. But users can change the name of their handle and give it a username that matches their many social media platforms. This is great for brand consistency and makes it easier to be found.
Now, even non-YouTube users can find and share YouTube channels with ease. Handles can be used in various places, including mentions and comments, as well as Shorts, which are similar to Instagram Reels and Tiktok videos.
YouTube Handles: Conclusion
People on social media are used to connecting to and engaging with friends, family, collaborators, and brands through @usernames. YouTube’s decision to add it to the platform’s features is timely, especially for podcasters who use YouTube to connect with their listeners. Taking advantage of this feature can help get your podcast noticed, and can be one more tool to add to your podcast promotion kit.