How to Embed YouTube Videos in a Message

By Danielle Fernandez

A video may explain complex ideas better than words.
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YouTube provides a variety of sharing options for every video hosted on the site, though the ability to embed it into a message varies depending upon your chosen communication tool. The private messaging feature on Facebook, for example, is equipped to automatically embed streaming videos using only its URL. Other messaging services may allow your to embed with manual HTML programming while some restrict embedding altogether.

Sharing and Embedding YouTube Videos

Click the "Share" link under any YouTube video to expose the available sharing options. "Share this Video," for example, provides you with the video's link that can be pasted elsewhere. The "Embed" option, on the other hand, provides you with HTML code for embedding the video on a different site -- like an auction listing or blog. If you sign in to YouTube with your Google account, you can also take advantage of the "Email" and "Hangout" options, which automatically embed the video into a new Gmail message or video chat.

Share via Link

Any link that is copied and pasted into the body of an email -- including the URL from the video's "Share This Video" option -- will maintain its hyperlink format, so don't expect it to embed a video player in your email. With the exception of Facebook, the same applies to most messaging services -- including Yahoo IM and Skype. Email clients that feature an HTML editor may allow you to input URLs so the resulting video is embedded in with the client's built-in player.


If your messaging provider supports access to an HTML editor, you can paste the code provided under the video's "Embed" link. This sharing option gives you the most customization features -- you can, for example, select your desired video player dimensions or opt to disable the suggested videos that are displayed when the video finishes. Many email providers prohibit video embedding, however -- even if HTML is otherwise supported -- due to the excessive processing needed to scan the embedded content for safety before it goes out.

Email and Hangouts

YouTube is owned by Google, which means you can sign into your Google account and enjoy sharing access -- including video embedding -- with your other Google apps. Select the "Email" option, for example, and enter the email addresses for your intended recipients. YouTube will then send the email from your Gmail account with the video embedded and ready to play. Click on the "Hangout" option instead to start a new video chat with the video embedded.