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What Does Unlisted Mean on YouTube?

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Youtube offers three different privacy settings for your videos. Knowing when and how to use each one is key to keeping your Youtube channel professional and functional. Scroll down and learn what types of videos there are and how to make the best use of them!

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Unlisted YouTube Videos vs Private and Public Videos

In the following sections, we will look at the differences between each type of YouTube video.

Public YouTube Videos

Public videos are the most common type of videos on YouTube. It’s the best setting for spreading your content and brand, since everyone (with or without a YouTube account) can see it. 

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    Search results

    Public videos will be shown as search results in and out of the platform and can be recommended to viewers of related videos. This feature brings in more attention and views, possibly expanding your subscriber base.

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    Uploads and playlists

    When accessing your Youtube profile, public videos will be shown in your uploads and playlists.

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    Public videos can be monetized with the addition of ads: the higher the views, the higher the payment. Currently, the rates vary between $0,10 and $0,30, per view.

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    Comment customization

    Comments can be enabled or disabled for every video, but keep in mind that when releasing a video to the public, the more views there are, the greater the chance negative comments and trolls can show up. Remember to moderate your comments, by assigning moderators or reviewing the comments before they are posted.

Unlisted YouTube Videos

Unlisted videos are an in-between between public and private videos. While keeping a certain level of privacy, the video is still public in its essence, since everyone with a link can watch it. 

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    Search results

    Unlisted videos won’t be shown as search results, in and out of the platform. Neither will they be recommended to viewers in the front page or as related videos.

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    Your profile won’t show unlisted videos. However, you can post public playlists that include unlisted videos.

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    Unlisted videos can be accessed by anyone with a link even if they don’t have a Youtube account. If embedding (link the section about embedding) is turned on, they can also be posted on other websites and social media. 

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    Unlike private videos, there is no limit on how many people can watch your unlisted video.

Private YouTube Videos

The private setting is the most viewer-restricted one when posting a video. It is useful for when you’re sharing really personal content or showing it to a small number of people. Also, you can give exclusive or paid access to content by providing authorization for selected accounts or clients. Check out what’s different about private videos: 

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    A private video can only be watched by authorized people. The viewers must have a Youtube account and invitations must be sent via email.

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    Viewing Limitations

    The maximum number of accounts that can have access to a private video is currently 50 people.

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    Private videos are “invisible” and will not be shown as search results, recommendations or related videos.

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    Playlists cannot include private videos in them, so if you want to give someone access to a bunch of videos at a time, you must send invitations for each one of them.

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    Embedding is allowed, but only people logged into permitted accounts can see the video.

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Reasons to Make an Unlisted YouTube Video

If you’re a dedicated Youtuber or just a casual video maker, there are a few good reasons to post an unlisted video on Youtube:

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    Test how a video goes before posting

    You can give “early access” to a small selected audience with an unlisted video before making it public. That way, if the results are not what you expected, you can delete the video and pretend it never existed!

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    Share personal videos with family and friends

    You don’t need to go through the trouble of collecting emails to give access to a private video. When sharing an unlisted video, all you need to do is share a link. Unlike private videos, unlisted videos can be seen without a YouTube account.

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    Declutter your Youtube channel 

    If your old videos don’t match your channel’s theme anymore or you’re changing your brand, you might want to remove them from your profile. However, just deleting the videos will remove them from any site that embedded them. By making the video unlisted, people who had access to the video previously can still watch it while your channel remains clean.

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    Create special content for your audience

    You can try sharing some exclusive content with a part of your viewers. Post an unlisted video and share the link only with specific subscribers and groups. Also, you can create Easter eggs and surprises by “hiding” a link to a special video for your viewers.

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How to Post an Unlisted Video

  1. Step 1

    Log in to YouTube and click your profile icon on the upper-right corner of the main page. Go to “Your Channel” and click “Upload a Video.”

  2. Step 2

    Upload or drag your files to the editing window. Once uploaded, you can edit all the details about your video (thumbnail, title, description and more). Go to the Visibility tab.

  3. Step 3

    On the Visibility tab, choose the unlisted option. When done editing, click “Save” to publish your video.

  4. Step 4

    Your video is now published. A link for your video will be shown, as well as the option to share it on social media.

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How to Change a YouTube Video to Unlisted

  1. Step 1

    Go to your channel by clicking your profile icon on the upper-right corner of the YouTube main page. Make sure you’re logged in.

  2. Step 2

    On the top of the screen, next to your channel name, go to “manage videos.”

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How to Share an Unlisted Video

Even though unlisted videos are not available to the general public on Youtube, there are some ways to share them in and out of the platform:

1. Sharing a Link:

Anyone with a link to your video on YouTube will be able to watch it. You can find your link in the “Published Video” window, right after finishing uploading your video, or at the address bar directly on the video’s page. You can send it to your friends by message or post the link somewhere for people to click and watch it.

Note: making a video unlisted does not stop it from becoming public. Some websites like UnlistedVideo host unlisted videos for anyone to watch, so be mindful of that if your video contains private or sensitive content.

2. Embedding Your Video:

Embedding is a way of sharing links, videos, images, and other content in blog posts or social media. When embedding your video in a blog post, for example, the actual video will be shown on the post instead of just the link. That way, people can watch a video without leaving the website they’re browsing. Unless you deactivate embedding (read the next section to learn how), your video can be placed in pretty much any website. 

To embed your video, follow these steps:

  1. Step 1

    Click “Share”, right below your video display.

  2. Step 2

    Click the “Embed” icon, a window with the embedding options and code will show up.

  3. Step 3

    Choose at what time you want your video to start when played and copy the text shown.

  4. Step 4

    Paste the text into your blog or social media post where you want the video to be.

3. Social Media

Another way to share your unlisted video is to post it on social media. Sharing a video on Twitter or Facebook, for example, is very similar to embedding. Most platforms automatically embed your video when you paste the link into a new post. If you want, you can share a video by clicking the “Share” button under the video on Youtube and choosing a website from the displayed.

4. Making a Playlist

You can share your video by inserting it into a playlist on YouTube. To do that, simply click “Save” under your video display and create a new playlist, or add your video to an existing one. Same as videos, playlists can be made unlisted, public or private. When adding an unlisted video to a public playlist, anyone can access the video by watching the playlist.

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Can You Embed an Unlisted Video on a Website?

Yes! Every YouTube video can be embedded, even private videos. To allow embedding for your unlisted video, go to your YouTube Studio dashboard and click “Videos” to manage all your videos. 

Click the checkbox next to the video you want to embed and look for “Embedding” in the editing options above the list. Choose “On” under the new value box to allow embedding. If you want to disallow it, just do the same steps but pick “Off” instead. This process can be done to all kinds of videos (public, unlisted or private ones). However, private videos that are embedded can only be seen by people with the access link.