YouTube (s GOOG) users might not always want their videos available through the site’s public search engine, but they also might not want to mark those videos as “private,” which limits the number of people that can view them to 25. So the video sharing site has finally introduced an option for “unlisted videos.” With it, YouTube is seeking to bridge the gap between those who want their videos to be truly private, and those who just don’t want their videos viewable by anyone. Users will receive a link that can then be shared with anyone, but those videos won’t be searchable through YouTube or Google’s search index.
As software engineer Jen Chen explains on the YouTube blog, by choosing to unlist a video, “It won’t appear in any of YouTube’s public pages, in search results, on your personal channel or on the browse page. It’s a private video, except you don’t need a YouTube account to watch it and there is no limit to the number of people who can view it.”
The option isn’t available yet on all accounts — we know because we tried — but a YouTube spokesperson told us it will “likely go live this afternoon.” Once enabled, the new feature should give an extra layer of privacy for users that aren’t comfortable with their videos being available to the public at large.