AS of JULY 23, 2021 – YouTube is making changes to the way they handle UNLISTED videos. We’ve all used unlisted videos when we want people we choose to see the video, but not have it widely found through YouTube. This is common for training videos, testimonials, intro videos to landing pages.
You have a decision to make for each of your unlisted videos.
1. Do nothing and YouTube will convert those videos to PRIVATE
This can cause a lot of issues, especially if you are prone to embedding unlisted videos in blog posts, on your website landing pages, linked on social, promoted through email marketing. None of those instances where you have embedded the video will work if the previously UNLISTED videos are set to private. Private is just that – only you or people you add-in to be able to view the video. Any clever places you have inserted a welcome video, training tips that you like to keep to only your site visitors, screen shares to troubleshoot items, contests, and so much more will have a big broken space. This also affects all LINKS to these same videos. Do you know where you have linked to all of your videos? How about your team? Your clients? Your strategic partners? I do not recommend this.
2. Opt-out of the change by filling out a form logged in as EACH of your channels and accounts here >
If you opt-out, the legacy links and embeds will work as they always have. BUT they will not get the benefit of the new security update. This is simpler, faster, but will not tighten up the ability for people to find those unlisted videos. If this doesn’t matter to you, fill out the form for EVERY channel you manage. If you need help, let us know.
3. Make your unlisted videos PUBLIC, which would also be simpler.
You won’t have to dig where all of those unlisted videos are embedded. Be aware, if you choose THIS option, this will add all of those videos to search results.
If you choose this option, you’ll also want to review all of those videos to make sure they are ready to be found.
This includes a custom, branded thumbnail image on EACH video. Remember, always be branding. Perhaps you have old custom thumbnails a version or two back from your current logo.
You may want to consider creating and organizing playlists for this newly public content. This is an opportunity to dress up your channel.
You’ll want a playlist description, tidy them up. Each video should have a good description that will help it be discovered in search.
Consider SRT files to make it even more accessible, useful, and sharable.
You can download the unlisted, reupload as unlisted to take advantage of the security update. You’ll lose all stats and links to the old video. I do not recommend this option.
If you want help going through your channel(s), let me know. We can clean this up quickly and effectively. We’d need to be added as an admin of your channel. You can leave us in there when we are done, or remove our access. Totally up to you.