How to Feature Channels on YouTube: The Best Step-by-Step Guide for 2023

default image

Featuring channels allows you to showcase exciting content creators, direct viewers to valuable recommendations, and strengthen connections across the YouTube community.

As an influential YouTuber, promoting other creators has tangible benefits like driving more traffic, sparking fruitful collaborations, and making viewers feel part of something bigger.

This definitive guide will walk through exactly how to add featured channels in YouTube Studio. You‘ll learn:

  • What featured channels are and why they matter
  • Key benefits featuring brings content creators
  • Step-by-step instructions for enabling on desktop
  • Why it‘s not yet available on mobile
  • Pro tips to leverage featured channels effectively

Sound helpful? Let‘s dive in fellow YouTuber!

Featured channels give creators a space on their YouTube channel homepage to showcase recommendations of other channels they find interesting or relevant to their audience.

You likely discover new creators yourself through suggestions on homepage sidebars or in YouTube shorts all the time. Featured channels formalize this by putting hand-picked recommendations right on your channel.

It serves dual purposes:

  1. Direct Viewers to Great Content: You essentially endorse other channels – signaling to viewers channels you genuinely enjoy or believe they‘ll find interesting if subscribed.

  2. Strengthen Community: Publicly highlight channels you want to collaborate with or support. Features signal tight-knit YouTube communities where top creators actively champion one another.

In 2023, viewers crave authenticity and community from the creators they watch and support. Featured channels check both boxes!

But it offers more than just good vibes – tangible benefits exist too…

The Key Benefits Content Creators Get from Featuring Channels

Showcasing fellow creators is more than just being a good YouTube-zen. Several strategic growth and visibility benefits emerge too:

Attract Viewers from Recommended Channels

Every creator you feature brings their built-in audience. Some of these viewers will check out your channel since you co-sign their favorite creator. It‘s an endorsement priming viewers to migrate over.

Data shows 48% of YouTube viewers report relying on creator recommendations to discover new content. Features capitalize on this appetite!

Increased Watch Time from Related Content

Directing viewers to binge-worthy related content keeps eyes glued to YouTube. Since the algorithm favors watch time, this can boost impressions down the line.

Enhanced Authority as an Industry Leader

Curation lays the foundation for influence. Featured channels make your homepage a content hub – signaling yourself as an authority others look to for insight on emerging creators.

"Scratch My Back" Reciprocal Feature

Spotlighting smaller creators can prompt them to return the favor. The benefits above compound when both channels reciprocal feature.

You broaden reach into each other‘s audiences – a strategic awareness play. The creator community thrives on reciprocity!

Collaboration Opportunities Emerge

Surfacing creators primes opportunities to collaborate down the line. Plot twist…you both generate killer collab content that goes viral in the algorithm!

Boosted Discovery in "Featured Channels" Lists

Yes – featured channels can be featured also! YouTube surfaces indexed featured creators in "Featured channels" lists in search, recommendations, and homepage sidebars.

Discovery and impressions get a nice visibility boost from this bonus exposure.

Sold on the perks of featuring fellow creators? Let‘s enable this on desktop…

YouTube makes adding featured channels simple within backend creator tools. Just 7 steps stand between you and surfacing more great creators!

Step 1: Login and Access YouTube Studio

Visit while logged into your Google account managing your channel. This houses all backend tools.

YouTube Studio Dashboard

Step 2: Pull Up Channel Customization

Under channel navigation, select "Customization" followed by “Advanced settings”. This is the springboard for channel layout tweaks.

Advanced channel customization settings

Within advanced settings select the giant “+ Add a section” button. Search for “featured channels” and confirm selection.

This adds a content shelf to showcase your featured creators!

Adding a Featured Channels section

Step 4: Choose Number of Channels to Showcase

Tweak preferences for max channels to feature and presenting horizontal vs. vertical layouts. Remember less is more if you don’t want it too cluttered!

Featured channels customization

Step 5: Search for Channels to Add

With layout locked in, search for channels to feature. Choose channels that share your niche and appeal to your viewers.

Pro Tip: Feature a blend of micro AND marco influencers to balance discovery and visibility!

Searching and adding a featured channel

Step 6: Publish Changes

Once you stack up featured channels, publish changes to push lives. Give changes ~1 day to fully publish across YouTube.

Draw attention in videos or posts to your shiny new featured channels shelf! Remind viewers to check out the exciting creator recommendations.

Voila! YouTube Studio makes featuring creators seamless.

Mobile Feature Limitations…For Now!

While featuring channels is available across YouTube Studio on desktop, it is not yet supported natively through the YouTube mobile app.

YouTube product managers have confirmed mobile featured channels are on the roadmap. But the timeline remains unclear.

Until then, leverage desktop tools to manage featured channels then promote those creators on-the-go!

Surface More Creators & Watch Your Channel Thrive!

Featured channels help directors discover amazing creators while allowing you tomutually support fellow YouTubers.

Everyone wins – YouTube gets a stronger sense of community and you expand reach plus boost watch time.

So be bold, highlight rising stars in your niche, and transform your channel into a discovery hub! Both you and featured creators will reap rewards from the exposure tradeoff.

Have you tried featuring channels yet? Which creators are you excited to showcase? I‘d love to hear your showcase strategies in the comments!


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.