Concerning YouTube User Handles

Here’s some new brain-tickling info. Google will soon make user handles on YouTube a thing. I don’t know if or how this will affect my video surfing habits, but we’ll see. From the Verge:

“All YouTube users will soon get a new way of identifying themselves. The company announced today that @name handles will be used across the platform, a convention that’s common elsewhere on the internet but a departure for YouTube.”

I use YouTube almost daily. I watch videos there for entertainment, but mostly I enjoy informative ones, like those about wood construction techniques or how to use the Mac better. And if you’re into Tiny Living, well, YouTube has you covered.

The site is my go-to place for content consumption. So for me, YouTube has always been a passive interaction. I don’t post my own content there. My engagement consists of “smashing that Like button” and “hitting that bell” and subscribing to channels.

The most original stuff I post there are short comments on videos. I do it for the sake of the video creator, to give meaningful feedback, and it’s weird to me when other YouTube users reply to my comment in some way.

With my limited use, I don’t see how having my own @username handle will make a meaningful difference in my participation on the platform. That said, the idea of adding such a feature strikes me as a potential game changer, yet not in a good way. I associate this kind of thing with…social media

YouTube is not social media.

At least it hasn’t been to me, but what if it becomes more like it? What if your identity and profile get promoted more readily with a handle like on Twitter?

How all this plays out is something I’ll be keeping an eye on for sure. I’ve never cared about my identity on YouTube before, but now it might become important, for better or worse. At the least, I hope I get to pick my @name to have the one I want, though that’s unlikely, and I don’t know what I’d pick other than my former Twitter handle.

Well, actually, I know I won’t get what I want, the ever simple @jason.

Do you think username handles on YouTube will be significant?