- Private videos are completely private and can only be seen if shared via email.
- Public videos are immediately visible to all subscribers and can be found through searches and recommendations.
- Unlisted videos can be shared via a link but won’t appear in searches or recommendations.
- Scheduled videos will be published at a future date and time of your choice.
- Premiering your video allows you to schedule and debut it live, engaging with your audience in real-time.
So, you’re uploading your first video to YouTube, but which publishing option is right for you? Depending on your needs, you might not want to simply hit the publish button. We’ll go over what each YouTube publishing option means, as well as the differences between them from Private to Premiere.
To get started, upload a video, adjust the settings as desired, then head to the Visibility tab.
Just for You or Your Close Friends? Use Private
YouTube is best known as a way for people to share videos with the public, but it can also serve as a completely free way to store private videos. Private videos will not appear in any searches, and even if they are featured in a public playlist, the video will still remain private.
Generally, only you can see videos you post privately, but you can share private YouTube videos with specific people via email invitations. Moreover, anyone you share the video with cannot share the link. Use this option for videos that you aren’t ready to publish or hope to remain private.
Want to Share Your Video Right Now? Hit Public
If you set a video’s visibility setting as Public and hit Save, it’ll immediately be visible to all subscribers, relevant recommendations, and search queries.
Unless you configure a YouTube video to prevent notifications to subscribers, fans with alerts enabled will be notified of publication.
Only for People With a Link? Go Unlisted
Similar to the Private option, setting your video to Unlisted will also prevent it from appearing in searches and recommendations. Your video will functionally be private to the public, but anyone with the link can view it and share it with others. To share an unlisted video, copy the link and send it to whoever you’d like.
For most people, this is an easy way to share videos with friends and family by simply posting the link in your group chat. For creators, this is useful for giving dedicated fans such as Discord server members or Patreon supporters extra “secret” content.
The main takeaway with unlisted videos is that they are not indexed or listed on any YouTube search or recommendation, but can be viewed and shared if you have the link. Share with discretion!
Want to Share Your Video at a Later Time? Schedule It
Immediately publishing a video is not always the most graceful solution, especially if you are a creator who wants to set a specific, predictable upload schedule. As such, you can use the Schedule option.
Scheduling a video allows you to keep your upload private until a specified time. Then, at the designated publish time, your video will follow all the same processes as setting the visibility to Public—such as notifying subscribers (if enabled) and appearing in searches and recommendations.
Additionally, the link does not change once published. Thus, you can schedule a video, copy its link, and schedule other social media posts to promote it at the same time.
Want to Make It an Event? Premiere Your Video
A more unique way to publish a video would be to use the Premiere option. Premieres function as a blend between posting a video and hosting a live stream to host an interactive watch party with your fans.
When you select the Set as Premiere setting for a scheduled video, you’ll have a few options to choose from. This includes choosing the Countdown Theme, setting a specific date and time for publication, and even adding a trailer via the Set up Premiere button.
Then, YouTube generates a watch page for the Premiere, which will appear in your subscribers’ feeds and state the upcoming premiere time.
Viewers can hit the Notify Me button to receive a notification when the Premiere goes live. They can access the page and request a notification for the publication time, leave comments, participate in the chat sidebar, or watch the trailer if included.
Finally, when the Premiere’s publication date and time arrive, the video will display a countdown, it will start playing at the end, and viewers can chat through the whole process.
Afterward, the video will not include the countdown and function as a regularly published video, but viewers can see the historical Premiere chat while watching.
Additionally, you can make a premiere happen instantaneously if you select Public and then check the box for Set as Instant Premiere. The same process will happen as with scheduling, just instantly.
Which YouTube Publication Option Is Right for You?
Each publication option has its unique utility for creators and folks wanting to host private videos alike. However, before uploading anything, make sure your video export settings are optimized for YouTube.
Below is a chart summarizing each upload option and how private they are:
Complete. No one can see it unless shared via email.
Partial. No one can find it, but anyone with access to the link can share it with others.
Private until the selected publication time.
The video itself is private until posted, but viewers can see when the premiere will happen and set notifications.
Who do you want to see your video? If everyone, when do you want it published? Do you want to schedule it normally or host a premiere? Consider these questions, and you’ll know exactly how to share your video.