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YouTube is shaking up linking. Here's what creators can and can't link now

If you produce YouTube videos, you're about to lose some link opportunities -- but gain some, too.
Written by Sabrina Ortiz, Editor
YouTube app on a phone
NurPhoto/Getty Images

When watching YouTube videos, people often learn about new products, experiences, people, and accounts they have never heard of before. As a result, many users will look for a link they can click on to learn more about the content they just watched. 

YouTube is now changing what the linking experience will look like on the platform, with some good and bad news for creators and users. 

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YouTube Shorts will no longer support clickable links in descriptions and comments. This means that if a creator links to a product or anything else mentioned in the video, users will not be able to access it by simply tapping it. 

YouTube says it is implementing this change "to reduce spam and scam attempts." The change will start on Aug. 31 and will roll out gradually. 

As of Aug. 10, the platform also removed links that appeared on the banner at the top of a YouTube channel's home. Typically, creators could link up to five links in that section for easy access to their essential links, such as social media. 

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As for the good news, YouTube will allow creators to showcase up to 14 links on their channel page. The links will live in the profile section near the subscribe button, where the audience will see the first link prominently and the rest upon clicking it. 

This is a space where creators can share social media profiles, websites, storefronts, merch sites, and more. Creators can begin to set up the links in their Creator Studio, and their audiences will publicly see them on Aug. 23. 

Lastly, by the end of September, YouTube will introduce a way that creators can easily redirect their audiences from a YouTube Short to other YouTube content. 

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The demo image shared by YouTube shows a clickable link on the Short that would redirect audiences to the long-form video counterpart.

Link from shorts to longs
YouTube

This feature could benefit creators by increasing engagement and visibility on long-form content through Shorts. It could also benefit viewers since they can easily find and watch content they are interested in.  

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