Custom YouTube URL For Your Channel – Complete Guide
Learn how to claim a custom YouTube URL for your YouTube Channel in this detailed guide.
Google associating YouTube with Google+ profile and disconnecting it again has made it difficult to fully understand the options for changing name and custom URL for YouTube channels.
Also, YouTube adopting different custom URL structures (as you will see in the later parts) over the past few years can be easily confusing for YouTube creators.
Custom URLs provide an easy to remember and unique YouTube username that can be handy to navigate to your channel or spread the word about it to your audience. Your custom URL for YouTube channel makes it easy to link to your channel and easy for your subscribers to visit your channel.
It’s like having a unique username, similar to a Twitter handle or a Facebook username that makes it easy to connect with other users. Your subscribers can remember the custom YouTube URL and find your channel easily.
In this detailed guide, we will discuss i) why custom URLs are necessary, ii) look at the possible custom URLs structure for YouTube and then finally iii) guide you to claim the custom URL of your choice for your YouTube channel.
I will also make an effort to clarify the YouTube association with Google+ and how it can affect your channel presence. Feel free to skip to the section of claiming YouTube custom URL directly.
Why need a Custom YouTube URL
I am sure you wouldn’t be reading this article if a custom YouTube URL wasn’t necessary to you but here’re few of the reasons why you should make an extra effort to secure the custom Youtube URL of your choice.
- Easy to remember for your YouTube Channel subscribers
- Easy to share on websites/email/business cards for your prospective audience
- Branding Purposes – Having a consistent presence across several platforms
Structure of Custom YouTube URL
YouTube custom URL was previously easy to claim, and you just had to choose the username when you signed up for the platform. Your custom URL then would have been simply youtube.com/username.
YouTube allowed selecting usernames on the basis of first come, first serve back then. But as the YouTube platform was associated with other Google products, mainly the Google+, there was a need to make the usernames on both platforms consistent. Making the usernames consistent with Google+ became challenging as there were already millions and millions of existing users with their previous usernames when they signed up for YouTube.
Additionally, after YouTube channels became inactive or deleted, those usernames weren’t released for new channels making it difficult to have useful usernames for channels to reflect their brand names.
After several iterations of custom URLs and with dissociation with Google+ (discussed in the later section), YouTube has now adopted a simple structure for custom URLs.
Basically, you are now limited to either ID-based default URL or Customised URL. The previous short usernames with just the youtube.com link are now called legacy username URLs.
Your YouTube channel can now have the following possible different URLs;
Legacy YouTube username Custom URL
If you signed up for YouTube in the past, you might have been simply assigned custom URLs in following formats.
These are now legacy usernames for your YouTube channel. The URL will still remain the primary channel URL if you have one already and will redirect to your channel. Such legacy Youtube custom URLs can no longer be changed.
YouTube ID-based URL
This is the standard URL of your YouTube channel that you get by default when you sign up for the platform. The ID-based URL uses a unique channel ID that is added to the end of the URL along with channel.
Current Custom YouTube URL Format
As you become eligible for custom URL (more on that later) for YouTube channel, you can grab an easy to remember URL in the latest structure provided by YouTube. The most recent custom YouTube URL is in the format of;
If you just use youtube.com/username after claiming the custom URL in the above format, you will be redirected to your channel reflecting the ID-based URL or a legacy YouTube username, if you have one.
Requirements for Custom YouTube URL
Custom URL for YouTube are based on several factors including your channel and Google identity, your associated website, your channel branding and description among others. YouTube let you easily choose your username on First-come, first-serve basis in the past. But there are certain requirements you need to fulfil now to be eligible for a custom URL for YouTube.
The YouTube custom URL requirements include;
- Minimum of 100 subscribers of the YouTube channel
- More than 30 days old YouTube Channel
- YouTube Channel must have uploaded Photo as Channel Icon
- Has photo uploaded for YouTube channel art
Steps to Claim Custom YouTube URL for YouTube Channel
Once you fulfil the requirements, you are eligible to claim a custom URL for YouTube channel.
Follow the steps below to claim a custom YouTube URL for your channel.
Step 1: Log into your YouTube account. You will need your Google account details to log in.
Step 2: Click on your profile icon on top right and click on the YouTube settings icon (that looks like a gear).