There are many video sharing websites and social communities out there that let you share your videos with the entire world, but in many cases you might only want to share private home movies with family and friends.
However, there are many circumstances where you want to share your private home movies with your family without letting the whole world see them. For this purpose, I’d like to review four of the best private video sharing sites on the Internet.
Why It’s Difficult To Share Private Home Movies On YouTube
To start out, I’m going to upload a very special moment that I recorded back in 2001 when our first child was just under 2 years old. She was standing on a stool helping her mother bake cookies in preparation for the family visiting.
Using the very cool free WinX DVD Ripper that Karl recently wrote about, I ripped a couple of minutes from the my private DVD, added a neat background soundtrack with the Pinnacle VideoSpin app I recently reviewed, and will upload it to each of these private sharing services to show the ease or difficulty of each service.
In the case of YouTube, the service is built around the concept of community video sharing, so keeping your video private isn’t completely intuitive. The first step, of course, is uploading your video.
Under privacy, you can set the video to “Private” where it will only be viewable by up to 25 people. This removes the video from the public directory, but before you can share out the video you’ll need to go to your “My Videos” section and click to edit your video.
Under the “Broadcasting and Sharing Options” section is where you’ll find the privacy area. Make sure “Private” is enabled (this tends to get deselected for some reason), and choose whether you want to choose up to 25 YouTube members to share the video with, or a new feature is that you can provide friends and family with a limited access URL they can visit to watch the video.
Until YouTube added the limited access URL feature, many people were frustrated with the fact that they could only share the videos with people who had YouTube accounts. Even now, the privacy feature is clearly an afterthought with YouTube – it’s obvious that they prefer shared videos as part of the growing worldwide video community, and the site isn’t really intended for sharing private home videos.
Shutterfly is leaps and bounds ahead of YouTube when it comes to creating your own little network of family and friends that you want to share your personal videos with – without opening them up to the freaks that prowl the public video communities. On Shutterfly, you’re provided with your own personal, customized website where you can post up to 10 videos at a time (the paid account offers unlimited storage).
Under your account, just click on “Create a Share site” to generate a new, custom page for your photos and/or videos.
When you first set up your private site, you can choose the subdomain name it falls under, and then configure “All visitors” and set a password of your choice. This is a better option, because if you set it to Site members only, that might limit it to only Shutterfly members, but it allows all Shutterfly members to view your videos and photos. Once you’ve uploaded your content to the page, you can just send your friends and family the link and the password.
Uploading is as simple as visiting your own page logged in with your Shutterfly ID (which puts you in page edit mode), and clicking on “Click to add videos.” As you add more private videos, they automatically get published to your password-protected website.
Vimeo is another great video sharing site with good privacy features. Unlike Shutterfly, you don’t have a private website, instead your videos themselves are password protected. Vimeo is very much a community video sharing site, but it offers a much easier privacy setup than YouTube does.
All you have to do is click on Privacy in the left menu bar, and change the setting from “Anyone” to “Password protected” and set your password. It’s as simple and easy as that. You can even have a different password for each video so that you can easily control who has access to specific videos.
I should note however that one major drawback of the free Vimeo account is that the upload takes about half an hour to go “active” before it can be viewed. However, as a free private video sharing service, the pros definitely outweigh that one con.
Upload Your Video To Facebook!
Of course, one of the easiest ways to share your video with only friends and family is by uploading it to your Facebook account. Since you’ve only allowed your personal friends and close family with access to your account, it makes sense that Facebook would probably be the first place you’d go to share your private home movies.
Most people think of YouTube when it comes to uploading and sharing videos, but few people are aware (yet) that you can directly upload videos to Facebook right off your hard drive.
After it uploads, the video gets shared to your wall just like when you post comments or upload photos. The video isn’t published to the entire world – only the people who you’ve already added as friends and family can see your video. Just make sure, when you upload it, to set the privacy settings to “My Friends Only.”
Do you know of any other websites where it’s especially easy to share private videos without publishing them to the entire Internet? Share your own resources or insights in the comments section below.