As we publish content on the world wide web, exposing parts of our personal lives and creative projects, privacy becomes an important consideration of our process. Maybe you’re working on a draft of a promotional video, and only want a certain project manager at a company to see it. Or maybe you’re creating educational content that can be public, but you only want people to view it on your own website, off of Vimeo. Privacy settings play a critical role in all of these use cases.

What is video privacy and why is it important?

Before we dive in, let’s explore what exactly video privacy is and why it’s important to your content. Video privacy is the concept of securing your videos to control who is able to view their content. Controlling the privacy settings of videos can be important in managing distribution strategies, maintaining content secrecy, and using video for internal communications.

Fortunately, all of these scenarios and more are possible with Vimeo’s privacy settings, whether it’s for your individual one-off videos, or a video in an embeddable playlist. We’ll break it down for you to make sure that you can keep your videos as secret — or public — as you need them to be.

Individual video privacy settings

You can make sure that only certain people see your videos by setting them to a specific setting. Everyone who uploads a video on Vimeo has access to the following settings:

  • Public means that anyone (yes, anyone) can watch your video.
  • Private means that only you (and members of your team) can see your video.
  • Password will allow you to add a password for viewers to gain access to your video, including Vimeo and non-Vimeo members.

You also have access to set your embed privacy to Anywhere which means that anyone can embed your video on an external website. Or you can set your embed privacy to Nowhere, which means no one can embed your video on an external website. Pretty easy, right?

If you are a Plus user or have a higher-tier paid subscription, you will also have access to a couple additional, granular privacy settings:

  • Unlisted is a semi-private setting that will make your individual video visible only to people who have the link. Your video’s credits will be removed, and the video will be removed from any channels or groups. Please note that anyone with access to this link can share it with anyone else.
  • Hide from Vimeo will make the video unable to be accessed on the Vimeo website (unless you are logged in as yourself), but it still can be embedded on other websites. Your video can be added to showcases and portfolios, but no other types of collections.

Paid users also have access to domain-level privacy, which means that you can choose what specific website you want to allow your video to be embedded on.

And finally, all Pro users and up have access to what we call review pages, which are semi-private video links (similar to the Unlisted privacy setting) that can only be viewed by the person with the link. You can remove Vimeo branding from this page and enable notes for your collaborators to add comments about what works and what doesn’t in this video cut. The only set privacy you can add to a review page is a password, so please note that anyone with this link will still be able to share it and the password with anyone else. This setting works well for collaborating with others on an unfinished version of a video.

More complex Vimeo privacy settings

When it comes to showcases, embeddable playlists, and folders, things get a little hairier, as these are different ways to group multiple videos.

A showcase can be set to public, or you can add a password to it. Like with your individual videos, anyone you share the private showcase’s link and password with can share it with anyone else.

Adding an unlisted video to a showcase all depends on the privacy setting of the showcase. If you add an unlisted video to a public showcase, only you and anyone with access to that individual video can see the video within the showcase. However, adding an unlisted video to a password-protected showcase means that anyone with the password to the showcase can access any unlisted videos within (without entering additional passwords).

Once you enter embeddable playlist territory, things change a bit. Only public showcases and showcases set to Hide from Vimeo can be embedded, as password-protected showcases cannot be. Also, only videos with a privacy setting of Anyone or Hide this video from can be displayed in an embedded playlist. But the individual video’s embed privacy setting (even domain-level privacy) will always be respected in this situation.

Pro subscribers and up can collaborate privately using Vimeo’s folders feature. By using this, you can limit access to a folder that you’ve created by either adding a team member as a contributor, an admin, or a viewer. As a reminder, viewers on a folder can only access the folders they’ve been shared on, leave comments on videos, and get notified of responses to their comments.

Added video security settings on Showcase pages 

Today’s workforce has become increasingly global, and as the number of remote employees continues to rise, it’s becoming more critical than ever for businesses to shift the way they communicate with their teams. And more and more, we’re seeing companies of all sizes leverage the power of live video in their revamped corporate communication strategies. But whether you’re using video to host a virtual training or to live stream monthly town halls, knowing that your content is secure is still of the utmost importance, especially when it comes to sensitive internal communications. 

If you’re a Vimeo Enterprise customer creating a showcase for internal purposes, there are three unique privacy options available to turn your auto-archived video streams into a private portal for employees to watch anytime, anywhere. The first: controlling access with Vimeo Enterprise’s Single Sign-On (SSO) functionality. SSO streamlines the sign-up process by eliminating the need for administrators to create or delete new accounts and passwords, in turn making logging in to video content seamless for employees—and more secure across the board.

For Splash, a high-growth events marketing platform and longtime Vimeo customer, what sold the company on Enterprise was the SSO functionality, says Multimedia Director Michael Mehlhorn. “Instead of creating an unlisted link for a live stream—which could be shared with who knows how many people!—we focused on locking down our content and making a hub to act as a central source for all of our company meetings, previous and upcoming.”

Enterprise customers can also secure a showcase via a custom domain with a unique Vimeo URL or a domain they already own, or by implementing the Only my team can access view.

So hopefully, you’ve learned a few things on how to keep your videos private, no matter what container or sharing mechanism you decide to use in Vimeo’s privacy settings. We hope you’ll find the best way to protect your work or expand your audience using Vimeo.

For a more granular breakdown of our privacy settings, check out our Help Center articles on an overview of all of our privacy settings, how to change your privacy settings, and what changes about the privacy of videos in your collections or review pages.

Originally published in September of 2018.