As a part of a more extensive Google update for file-sharing links, YouTube will soon set all Unlisted videos uploaded before 2017 to Private. However, YouTube is giving creators a few options to keep their videos Unlisted.
For a bit of context on the situation, back in 2017, YouTube updated its Unlisted links. According to YouTube, the new links provided more security, requiring people to share the link to view the video. So, every Unlisted video uploaded in 2017 and after are using the new, more secure links. The videos uploaded before 2017 still use the old link system.
What you can do about your Unlisted videos
There are a lot of reasons why creators wouldn’t want their videos privatized. For example, for creators who’ve embedded the Unlisted videos either on a third-party website or on social media, those links will no longer work. However, YouTube is giving creators a few options to keep their embedded videos working.
First, you can opt-out of the update. This option will keep your Unlisted videos unlisted and ensures all the instances where you embedded the link still work. The only downside to this option is that you won’t benefit from the new links’ security boost. However, this likely will be the best choice for creators, considering the other option is to re-upload your video. If you re-upload your video, it will have the new, more secure Unlisted link. However, you’ll have to start from scratch regarding likes, comments, and views. Additionally, you will have to update all the instances where you embedded the old link, which might be out of the question for some creators who’ve embedded countless times.
You can also opt to either make your videos public or let YouTube turn them private. Making your videos private will limit the number of people who can see your videos — since you need to manually share the video if you want people to see it. This option wouldn’t be ideal for a creator or business with a lot of embedded videos.
How to opt-out of the update
If you want to opt-out of the update, you can fill out this form. You have until July 23, 2021, to respond. After that, all Unlisted videos uploaded before 2017 will be set to Private.