So, let’s have a look at how a few of the best ways to share videos with family stack up against these questions.
Many people don’t realize that YouTube provides a way to upload videos and share them privately with other users. After all, YouTube is primarily built around its vast library of community videos.
But not only is it possible to achieve, but it’s also remarkably straightforward to do.
Start uploading a video to YouTube in the usual way by clicking on the icon in the upper right-hand corner. When you see the video selection screen, just select the appropriate privacy option from the drop-down menu.
YouTube offers two options that will be useful for sharing private videos:
- Private: You can invite people to view the video. You’re allowed to invite up to 50 users with YouTube accounts to see your video. The video won’t show up in public YouTube search results. Any friend or family with the link can see the video, but only if you’ve invited them.
- Unlisted: Your video won’t show up in YouTube search results, but anyone with the link will be able to view the video. It’s also accessible to the public, whether or not someone has a YouTube account.
YouTube does have some restrictions on length, but they won’t be a problem for most users. The maximum size is capped at 128GB or 12 hours, whichever is less.
You can upload MOV, MPEG4, MP4, AVI, WMV, MPEGPS, FLV, 3GPP, WebM, DNxHR, ProRes, and CineForm videos.
Facebook has a lot of shortcomings regarding privacy. Some users may opt not to add their videos to the network at all, especially if they include private family content.
However, if you can look past the privacy headlines, Facebook is one of the best ways to share videos online. Almost everyone has an account (including Grandma!) and choosing your audience for your video is relatively straightforward.
If you want to share a private video via Facebook, start creating a post, then click on the Photo/Video tab at the bottom of the new post’s window.
Facebook will prompt you to choose which file you want to upload. But before you hit the Share button, make sure you choose who can see it.
If you click on the Friends drop-down list, you will see Public, Friends, and Friends Except as option. Click on More to reveal an option for Specific Friends, then choose your friends from the popup list.
A Facebook video can be up to 4GB in size and 120 minutes in length— that’s less than YouTube. There’s also an FPS cap of 30 and a minimum width of 600 pixels. If someone watches your private video on mobile, landscape and portrait videos will both display in a 2:3 aspect ratio.
And remember, your friends and family will need a Facebook account in order to watch any private videos you want to share with them.
3. Cloud Storage Providers
A third popular way to share video online privately is to use a cloud storage provider. The big three names in the industry are Google Drive, OneDrive, and Dropbox, but there are lots of smaller services out there as well.
Almost all cloud providers let you share your files—including videos—with other users, either via email or by using a shareable link.
However, instead of sharing videos on a case-by-case basis, if you want to share lots of content with your family (for example, Christmas videos or wedding videos), it might make more sense to set up the sharing at the folder level. That way, whatever videos you add to the specific folder will automatically inherit the correct sharing options.
To set up folder sharing options in Google Drive, right-click on the folder’s name and go to either Share (for email sharing) or Get Shareable Link. The process is similar on other cloud providers.
In terms of restrictions, almost all filetypes are supported. The only constraint on size is the amount of free storage space you have in your cloud account.
The three services we have looked at so far share two common characteristics:
- They require an account to send the video.
- They will store your video for an infinite amount of time.
If you don’t want to make an account, or you’re concerned about your video staying available online for too long, you could check out one of the many free services that let you send large files online.
We think WeTransfer is arguably the best. The free version of the app lets you send files up to 2GB in size. The video format, bitrate, and other metadata are not important.
Alas, however, there are a few noteworthy restrictions:
- Videos are only available for seven days.
- You need to know the email address of the people to whom you want to send the private video.
- You can only add three email addresses.
If necessary, you can subscribe to WeTransfer Plus to remove the seven-day limit and increase the file size to 20GB.