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Share links on your YouTube Channel and long-form videos

YouTube just announced several changes to the way links work (or not) on Shorts and YouTube channels. It's worth taking a few minutes to make sure the links you want to promote on your channel - for example your other social media profiles, personal website, newsletter or shop - are visible to viewers and fans. 

Why the changes? YouTube says it's because of the proliferation of harmful links. 
Since introducing Shorts two years ago, the volume and speed of content published on YouTube has increased in fun and exciting ways. At the same time, this speed and level of engagement has made it easier for spammers and scammers to share links in Shorts comments and Shorts descriptions that harm the community – for example, clickable links that drive users to malware, phishing, or scam-related content.
What's changing: 
  • Links on Shorts comments, descriptions, and the vertical live feed will no longer be clickable
  • Clickable social media and website icons will no longer appear on the channel banner on desktop
  • There will be a new prominent clickable link button on channel pages on mobile and desktop
  • There will be a new way to link from Shorts to your other channel content
As a creator here's what you need to do: 
  • Configure the links you want to share in your YouTube Studio customization settings
  • Stop mentioning "Links in descriptions" or "Link in comments" in your Shorts and say "Link on channel" (or similar) 
Note that all links must comply with YouTube's External Links Policy.

Links will no longer appear on the channel header on desktop

Up until now, it has been possible to have links that appear on your channel's About tab appear with an icon on your YouTube channel header on desktop. 

Screenshot of PeggyKTC YouTube Channel Banner in April 2023
@PeggyKTC Channel Banner in April 2023 with links to this site, Twitter and Mastodon

YouTube has pointed out that this can be a "source of misleading links". 
And the link icons were also not visible in the YouTube mobile app. 

There is now a link list that appears on both desktop and mobile. Read on for details.

Links on Shorts will no longer be clickable

Links on Shorts will be unclickable. This includes: 
  • Links in the Short's description
  • Links in the comments on the Short
  • Links in the vertical live feed
If you add a link URL, it will still be there, but it won't be linked to anything. 

Note that @mentions and hashtags will still be clickable.

This change will start rolling out August 31. 

There will be an option to link a Short to other YouTube content

YouTube has teased an update that will let you link a Short to other YouTube content, such as a long-form video or live stream.

This will be available "before the end of September". 

This update will not affect links on long-form horizontal videos

YouTube has said explicitly that they "don’t have any plans to make any other links unclickable."

There are multiple options for linking to other videos or websites on your non-Shorts videos (videos that are horizontal and longer than a minute). 
  • Links in video descriptions (clickable if you have Advanced Features enabled for your channel)
  • Links in video comments
  • Links in live chat 
  • Links on end screens (your channel must be in the YouTube Partner Program to link to an external website)
  • Links on info cards (your channel must be in the YouTube Partner Program to link to an external website)
  • @Mentions and hashtags

Add Channel Profile Links to your website, social media or shops

YouTube has also updated Channel Profile Links so they are more prominent and appear on both desktop and mobile. 

Your top link appears under your channel name description teaser, and links to the full list of links you want to showcase.

Note: You can currently view this when signed in to your own channel, but it will not be visible to the public until August 23. This gives you plenty of time to update!

You can add up to 14 links with the first link in the list displaying most prominently.
  • Add up to 14 links
  • The link at the top of the list is the one that shows at the top of your channel. It will show the link URL, not the link name (so my channel shows " and 4 more").
  • All links must comply with YouTube's External Links Policy

How to add links to your YouTube Channel

Three steps to add links in YouTube Studio

Currently you can only add Channel Profile Links in YouTube Studio on the web. 

1. Sign in to YouTube Studio (

2. Click Customization on the left menu

3. Click the Basic Info tab

4. Under Links click the + Add Link button

5. Add the title of the link ("Peggy K on Twitter") and the link URL (starting with https://)

6. Click Publish at top right

How Channel Links Appear On Desktop

Screenshot showing updated YouTube channel header where it shows " and 4 more links"

On desktop the link promo will say "[your top link URL] and x more links".  Clicking this switches to the About tab that has your full link list.

PeggyKTC YouTube channel About Tab with Links list
Both the link title and link URL are visible. It does not include branded favicons to easily identify the site.

How Channel Links Appear In the YouTube Mobile App

Screenshot of the channel heading for @PeggyKTC YouTube channel in the YouTube mobile app

On mobile the link promo is under your channel name and description teaser. It says "[link URL] and X more links". Tapping it brings up the link list from the bottom of the screen. 

Both the link title and link URL are visible, with branded favicons.
Screenshot of the link list for @PeggyKTC YouTube channel in the YouTube mobile app

Learn more