YouTube Private vs. Unlisted

By Jayden Andrews. April 3, 2020

YouTube is undeniably the go-to platform for video content. From cute cat videos to aesthetically pleasing travel vlogs, this website has it all. With millions of users around the world, it is certainly the best venue for sharing your video content. If you want to get as many people as possible to watch your materials, YouTube is the ideal platform to share them.

That said, there are times when you want to share your videos with a select group of people. In this case, your option is to publish the content as ‘private’ or ‘unlisted’. Now, you may wonder, “What’s the difference between private and unlisted YouTube videos?” In this post, we’ll take a closer look at these two sharing options. In this way, you’ll understand how you can use each of them to your advantage.

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Public and Private YouTube Videos

It is important to note that by default, all videos published on YouTube are public. If you don’t modify that, your content will be shared to the whole world. Anyone can find and view the video. Now, if you want limited viewership for your content, you can configure the settings and set the video to Private. In this way, only users with the invitation link can see the content. Keep in mind that a private video can be shared to up to 50 people. Also, these users must have an active Google account to be able to access the content.

You won’t see a private video on search results, the uploader’s page, or video recommendations. The uploader’s subscribers won’t receive a notification about the private content. Moreover, people who are allowed access to the video won’t be able to share the content with their friends.

Now, you might wonder, “Why would one want to use the private setting on their content?” Well, there are various ways to benefit from this option. However, in most cases, it serves to safeguard your privacy while you’re sharing content online. While using the private setting on YouTube can keep your videos secure, using a good VPN technology can give you better protection. It will hide your IP address while you’re watching media content online. What’s more, if YouTube is blocked in your location, you can use a VPN to redirect your IP address to a different server in another country.

What Are the Advantages of Publishing a ‘Private’ Video?

There are instances when you want to share personal videos with a select group of people. For instance, you may be working on a secret project and you only want some people to see it. If this is the case, then using the private option is ideal. Here are the other advantages of using this feature:

  • Have a private library of video content – If you value your personal collection of videos and you want to store them in a private location, then this publishing setting is perfect for you. The library will belong to you and no one else.
  • Share personal content with loved ones – If you have loved ones who live in a location far away from you, then YouTube’s private video option offers the ideal way to share moments with them privately.
  • Collaborate with co-workers – If you need to share business strategies with your employees or colleagues yet you don’t want your competitors to see them, you can publish your YouTube videos privately.
  • Save local storage – Are you running out of storage space on your phone? Well, you can upload your videos on YouTube and use the private setting. In this way, you have a secure storage location for your personal content that won’t be seen by the general public.

What Are the Advantages of Publishing an ‘Unlisted’ Video?

Now, you may wonder, “What’s the difference between YouTube private vs. unlisted videos?” Well, as we’ve mentioned, you can only share private videos with 50 Google accounts. What if you want to share your content with more people but you don’t want it to appear in the search results? The best option is to publish it as ‘unlisted’. Here are the benefits of using this feature:

  • Effective collaboration within a bigger group – Let’s say you have over 50 employees in your company and you want to get their feedback on a marketing output. You can share an unlisted video to let everyone have access to the content.
  • Share your portfolio privately – Now, if you want to get your work to the right people without making it public, you can publish an unlisted video. You can send the link to as many users as you like.
  • Perform market research for your content – If you’re planning to share a video to the public but you want to collect reviews first, publish it as unlisted content. If you don’t get positive feedback from the respondents, then you can delete the video and never let it see light!
  • Organize your YouTube profile without deleting videos – Let’s say you want to categorize your videos and you want to hide your old, embarrassing content. However, you know that a lot of people shared those videos or embedded them into their websites. If you want to let them retain access to the content, you can change its settings to unlisted. The content won’t be visible on your channel, but people with the link can still view it.

There are two major points you need to remember about private vs. unlisted YouTube videos. While private videos offer limited access, unlisted content can end up getting shared on other sites. It’s worth noting that there is a site specifically designed for the purpose of featuring unlisted videos from YouTube. Another thing you need to remember is that unlisted content will show up publicly if it is included in a playlist.

Pro Tip: Speaking of privacy, you also need to be careful about your activities online. If you’re viewing YouTube videos and you want your data to remain anonymous, we recommend using a VPN service. A reliable tool like this will conceal your IP address, ensuring that no one can identify your location. A VPN can redirect your IP to different servers from anywhere in the world. So, if you’re trying to access a YouTube video that is blocked in your region, you can still open it with a VPN.

How to Change the Privacy Settings of Your YouTube Video

Now that you’ve learned about the difference between YouTube unlisted vs. private videos, you may want to know how to configure the settings of your content. To change the privacy of your videos, you need to follow the steps below:

1. Open your YouTube Studio account.

2. Go to the left-pane menu, then choose Videos from the options.

3. Hover your mouse pointer over the content you like to configure. You can also select the Live tab if you want to access your live uploads.

4. You will see an arrow below Visibility. Click it, then choose Private, Public, or Unlisted from the list.

5. Click Save to complete the process.

How to Share Your Private Videos

1. Using your Creator Studio Classic account, access Video Manager.

2. Look for the content you want to share, then choose Edit.

4. Select Share.

5. Submit the email addresses of the users you want to share the content with.
6. Once you’re done entering the email addresses, click OK.

Keep in mind that users won’t be allowed to post comments on private videos. Now, if you want to allow comments on private content, you have to change its privacy setting to unlisted.

It is important to protect your privacy when you’re posting anything online. Of course, there will be instances wherein you want to create and enjoy content without letting unwanted users spoil the fun. In this case, you can use the private and unlisted features on YouTube to keep your videos away from the public. Now, if you want to keep your content as secure as possible, your best option is to set it to private. Ultimately, you get to decide the level of privacy you want for your videos.

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