What’s the Difference Between Private and Unlisted YouTube Videos?

You might want to finally show the world just how crazy your cat is or perhaps build a portfolio to help get your next job. YouTube is even a great place to store your video resume and clips that you want to share with your family.

Some of these videos might deserve a spot on the world’s stage. But some of the others might only be reserved for a certain pair of eyes. Thankfully, YouTube can accommodate by allowing you to post private and unlisted videos so that they won’t show up in search results.

But what’s the difference between private and unlisted videos? Why would you choose one over the other? If you have a lot of questions about the privacy settings of your YouTube videos, then don’t worry. We have all the answers for you below.

What Are the YouTube Video Privacy Settings?

There are a few different settings you can play around with for your YouTube videos. Each one serves a unique purpose and determines how you share the video as well as who can find it in search results.

Public Videos

The public setting is the default for all YouTube videos. It means your video can be found by anyone and will appear in search results on YouTube and Google. If your goal is to build a fanbase or attract customers to your business, then this is the right setting for your video. It will help get your name out there and turn you into a star on YouTube.

But there are some disadvantages too. YouTube comments sections are notorious for negativity, and if your video is popular, then you should expect some noise from trolls. Even if you decide to remove the video on YouTube, it can still get found. If it’s a controversial clip and your name is attached, then it could even have an impact on your career.

Private Videos

On the opposite end of the scale is private videos. These YouTube videos are available via invite-only and are capped at 50. No one besides those who have the exclusive link will see them, and they’re not able to share the video either.

A private video will not appear in any searches or the video recommendations section on YouTube. It’s not even available in the video tab sections when users upload a video. It’s the most secure option and perfect if you only want a small audience viewing your video.

Unlisted Videos

An unlisted YouTube video is a combination of the public and private setting. Unlisted videos can’t be found in all of the same places as a private video, such as the search results, recommended clips, and any other tabs that display content.

The key difference is that anyone who has the link to your unlisted video is able to share it with others. So while you might not go viral on a public forum, your video might still get a lot of views the more people share it with their friends and family.

Why You Would Upload a Private Video on YouTube

Now you know the difference between private and unlisted videos, you need to decide which option to choose when you upload your clip to the internet. There are some excellent reasons to make your video private and available to a small audience. Here are just some of them.

Internal Office Use

If you work for an organization with teams of remote workers around the country or throughout the world, then it’s important to offer different forms of communication to keep them engaged. Sure there are emails and collaboration tools, but private videos featuring messages from the corporate teams or direct managers can be much more effective. However, these types of videos aren’t for the general public, which is why uploading them as private videos are the way to go.

Video Resume

You probably don’t want the world to know all about your career goals and work experience. Thankfully, if you’re going to submit a video resume with your next job application, then you can make it a private video to share with your potential employer. This means you won’t need to add it as an attachment, and the recruitment manager doesn’t need to wait to download it.

Distant Family Relationships

It can be hard connecting with family when they’re scattered around the world. But one method of keeping them in the loop is sharing videos via YouTube. Some of the personal clips might not always be suitable for a wider audience. So you can change the setting to private so that only your relatives will be able to view the video on YouTube.

Private Portfolio

Storing clips on your website if you’re a videographer is expensive. Instead of spending a fortune on cloud space, you can upload your videos to your YouTube account and set it to private. You can then share the link with potential clients you want to work with or to customers looking to hire you for a job. Keeping your videos private will restrict anyone from leaving negative comments on your work, as well as avoid competitors stealing your content.

Why You Would Upload an Unlisted Video on YouTube

It might seem like there aren’t a lot of benefits to uploading an unlisted video to YouTube. While it doesn’t appear in search engines or recommendations, your unlisted videos can still get shared easily with a broad audience. So there are some reasons to consider having unlisted YouTube videos.

Market Testing

Maybe you’re not ready to share your creations with the world yet. In this case, unlisted videos help you distribute your content with a smaller audience to gauge the reaction. If the people adore your YouTube video, then you can make it public. But if the response is lukewarm, then you can remove it without damaging your brand reputation.

Scheduling Videos

If you’re a social media manager, then you know the importance of scheduling content to release at the right time of day. Instead of uploading a video minutes before the scheduled time that it’s supposed to go live, you can complete this step earlier and have all of your videos unlisted. Then when the time comes to have them go live, change it to public so that the world can view the videos.

Hosting Site

Having a YouTube channel is great, but maybe you want your viewers or clients going to your website instead. In this instance, you can upload an unlisted video on YouTube and embed it on your pages. If people go to your channel, they won’t see any of the videos. But if they go to your website, they’ll be able to watch all of your creations.

Seasonal Content

Some of your video content might have seemed like a good idea at the time. Maybe they’re seasonal and only relevant during certain times of the year. Whatever the reason might be, you might not want your videos on display all year round. In these instances, you can make them unlisted on YouTube so that they’re no longer available to the public. If you ever change your mind and want to make them live again, it’s simply a matter of changing the setting so everyone can find it.

How to Change the Video Settings

Changing the video privacy settings for your clips is just as easy as uploading one. Once you’ve logged into your YouTube or Google account, you just have to go to the dropdown menu on the upload page.

Under the area where you drag and drop video files will be a menu with Public displayed in it. Select it, and you will get the option to change it to either unlisted or private. After you’ve made your choice, you can continue with adding your video to YouTube.

Is Privacy Important to You?

While billions of people around the world watch YouTube videos every day, it doesn’t mean you have to share your clips with everyone. It’s very simple to change the settings

on your personal YouTube clips to share with a small cohort of individuals or a certain type of audience.

You can select to list them as private videos so your content can only get accessed with a link that you provide. Another option is to make an unlisted video where a link is still required, but it can be shared with anyone and everyone.

If privacy is important to you, then you should ensure you have a VPN. Virtual private networks stop your internet service provider from logging your online activity and hides your identity on every website you visit. Before you sign up to the first virtual private network company that you see, make sure all of your videos and your sensitive information are protected.

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