Google Updates Youtube – Adds Semi-Private Unlisted Share Option

imageOn Wednesday YouTube implemented a new update which allows you to update videos with new viewing permissions.  With this new Unlisted option, your video will no longer show up in YouTube search results (or related videos), but it will still be easily playable by visiting its URL.

Previously YouTube only had two options for viewing permissions, Public and Private.  The public view is the primary and most commonly used option, which allows anyone to quickly find and watch your videos.  The private view is very restricted and only allows people whom you have specifically allowed to see.


The new addition of the third option, Unlisted, brings in a whole new element to YouTube that many people have already been using in Google Docs and Google Picasa Web Albums.  An Unlisted video does not show up in Google searches, YouTube searches, the user’s Profile, or related videos.  Essentially it’s the same thing as  Private video, but if someone wants to watch it all they need is the YouTube video’s URL address.  I guess one might call this Security by Obscurity meaning, the security or privacy of the video is only as good as long as those you give the link to do not publish it on twitter.  ;)

YouTubes new unlisted feature


How do I share or watch an Unlisted YouTube video?

The entire reason for YouTube introducing unlisted videos was to make sharing private videos incredibly easy and to warm up to those who might be a bit tweaked towards privacy and security (me). So to share this new Unlisted video just Copy the URL address in your browser and then Paste it wherever your friend will be able to read it (email, chat window, etc.)  Then all the viewer has to do is copy the URL and put it into their browser’s address bar.  Presto!

how to share an unlisted youtube video


If the video you upload is embarrassing or confidential, be careful to whom you allow accessing the URL!  There is nothing stopping anyone from sharing it with even more people.  However, if it gets out of hand, you can always UP the security on it and switch it to completely Private at any time.

Keep in mind that Unlisted videos are not exempt from the YouTube Terms of Service or Privacy Policy.  This policy means if you upload X-rated or Copyrighted content other people who know your video URL can flag and report it, resulting in the removal of the video and/or suspension of your YouTube account.  Note also that if your YouTube account is not in good standing, you will not be allowed to use the Unlisted feature.


Are you an avid YouTube user?  We’d love to hear how you’ll use Unlisted videos in the comments below.

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