Wednesday, 12th May 2010
YouTube Launches Unlisted Videos, You Decide Who Can See It
Some interesting news from YouTube today.
Have you ever posted a video on YouTube but only wanted to share it with friends or family members. Or, maybe you decided to place the video on a YouTube server as a back-up (in case you have computer issues while on the road) and didn't want others to see it.
As of today, that's now possible with YouTube's new "Unlisted Videos" feature. Instead of the video being placed into the massive YouTube database, you'll receive a URL that only you'll know. Then, it's up to you (if you like) to share with friends, colleagues, family, and others as you see fit.
Let's back it up for a few moments.
The YouTube blog post begins with the story of a teacher who didn't want to share the video project her classed had produce with the world. However, both the teacher and her students wanted family and friends to watch it. Before today, you could mark a video private but that option was limited to 25 YouTube users (in other words they needed to have a YouTube account).
From the Blog Post:
Now, you can mark your videos as "unlisted." This means only people who have the link to the video will be able to watch it. It wonít appear in any of YouTubeís public pages, in search results, on your personal channel or on the browse page. Itís a private video, except you donít need a YouTube account to watch it and there is no limit to the number of people who can view it. Youíll get a link when you upload the video and then itís up to you to decide who to share it with. Unlisted is the perfect option for that class project, video from last summerís family reunion or your secret Broadway audition tape.
Jen Chen, who wrote the blog post correctly concludes, "Just remember, the video can be viewed by anyone with the link, so only give it to people you trust!"
Finally, the blog post contains a screen cap of the upload page. Note that there are "unlisted videos" (anyone with the URL can see) and "private videos" (that can only be viewed by people you name).
The "help page" points out once again to be careful to give the URL to people you trust.
Even though your video will not appear in any of YouTube's public spaces, links to the video could still appear elsewhere on the web if anyone who knows the video's URL shares it. You should therefore be cautious when sharing the unlisted video and make sure to only send the videoís URL to people you trust.
Huh? You share the "unlisted" video link with Uncle Phil. He think it's so superb, so tremendous, and just plain awesome and then he decides to include a link to it on his own web page. Oh no! At that point the URL is public and if/when a crawler comes by Uncle Phil's web page it's likely to be crawled and placed in a web database(s). So, if you use this, a bit of a learning curve comes with it and you have to explain to those you give the URL to NOT to share it and not to place it on a web page. We're curious to see how well this works. Will sharing (accidentally or on purpose) cause fights and family feuds? Will there become an established underground for unlisted content?
If you've posted videos to YouTube in the past and you've run into alleged copyright infringements and/or other violations of the terms of service, you might not be able to use the unlisted video feature. This help page includes the necessary steps to see if your account is in good standing.
Private Videos are a bit different. First, you have to create a contact list of the people you want to see the video. Second, those you select to see the video must have a YouTube account. The URL of the video will be sent via email to the people you've selected. There is a maximum of 25 users that you can share private videos with. As you would likely guess, private videos will not be visible on your channel. This help page has all of the details you'll need if you choose this option.
Finally, YouTube explains how not to display and info on your YouTube channel. Your profile cannot be made private.
We've sent a note off to Google/YouTube with a few questions including:
1) Are unlisted videos monetized?
2) If the URL accidentally gets out (this will likely be a big issue), can you cancel the URL and create a new one?
3) Is it correct to say that content for both unlisted and private videos will still be checked (just like any other video) for copyright problems, terms of service concerns, etc.
4) Can you easily and quickly remove an unlisted or private video. If it's done it time could that stop it from being crawled.