Authenticating with OAuth2

Learn how to link an OAuth2 application with your account, then use it to act on behalf of your users.

So you want to integrate your app with Wistia. Cool! To make it really easy for your end-users to connect their Wistia account, you'll want to use the OAuth2 protocol.

Here you'll find an overview of our OAuth flow and the technical details you need to implement it.

What is OAuth2?

This page is meant for people who have a grasp of how OAuth2 works. If you're not sure, check out the official OAuth2 resource.

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Start with this example app to try it out: Wistia OAuth2 Example.

Get Approved

OAuth2 is not yet available for all accounts. Until it is, contact us to get it enabled.

Create an OAuth Application

Before you can perform the OAuth protocol, you need to register an oauth application with us. By doing this, your users will be able to verify that your app is genuine, and that they authorize whatever permissions you request.

  1. Go to Account > Settings.
  2. Click the Oauth Applications tab in the sidebar.
  3. Click on New Application.
  4. Enter a name, a brief description, a Redirect URI (also known as a Callback URL in some circles), and Permissions for your app. These can be changed later, so don't fret too much over them. Click Save.
  5. Your app should now be visible in the list of OAuth Applications.
  6. Click the name of your app, or Edit, to get credentials and update your app's information.

Notes on Permissions

You can choose multiple permissions--also known as "scopes"--when you create or edit your OAuth Application. The permissions you choose there will be the same permissions as those that the end user must approve when they grant your application authorization.

Changing Application permissions will not update the permissions for already existing access tokens. The end-user will need to revalidate if those permissions change.

Available Scopes

If you think you have a use case that is not covered by one or a combination of these scopes, contact us and explain your situation to us. Maybe we can help you out!


Anything you can do with our API is allowed.


All requests for data are allowed, but no changes can be made.


All requests for media and project data are allowed. This also extends to customization and captions data.


All requests for stats data are allowed.


Uploading via the API is allowed, as well as fetching data about a single media by hashed ID (i.e. medias#show).

Setup an Authorization URL

Now that you've created an app, you need to have your users authorize it. To do that, open the modal with your app's credentials and look for "Link to authorization code". Copy that URL and set it up as a simple link on your site.

An example Authorization URL:

The Authorization Flow

When your users click the link to the Authorization URL, they will go through the following process:

  1. If they're not logged in to a Wistia account, they will be prompted for their login credentials. If they are logged in, skip to number 2.
  2. If they have more than one account, they will be prompted to choose an account. If they only have one account, skip to number 3.
  3. If they have not already authorized your app, they will see the name and description of your application, and will be prompted to authorize or deny it. If they're already authorized, skip to number 4. If they deny the app, skip to number 5.
  4. We will redirect back to the Redirect URI with the following params: code (this is the authorization code), account_id, account_url, account_name, contact_id, contact_name, contact_email.
  5. We will redirect back to the Redirect URI with error and error_description URL params.

Note that the redirect_uri you pass in the authorization URL must match the Redirect URI that you configured previously. However, you are also allowed to
include arbitrary query params on the redirect_uri. This might be desirable if you want to maintain state but can't store it in the session.

For example, if you want to pass an account ID in redirect_uri, you could modify the Authorization URL to be:

After the OAuth flow is finished, it would redirect to:


Or if there's an error:


Use the Authorization Code to get an Access Token

Now that you have the authorization code on your server, you can trade it for an access token. Here is some example ruby code that gets an access token using the oauth2 gem:

require 'oauth2'

# Initialize the OAuth2 client
base_url = ''
client_id = '5e7580f112852db6708eac9ce77f6592ffb95a3443e2f038de2ed5a82d7ca8d1'
client_secret = 'f4fa3d09f45c5c5be6e1f9f0a336e24493f9cff9ed310442f4b5270c34be6fc2'
client =, client_secret, site: base_url)

# Trade the Authorization Code for an Access Token
redirect_uri = 'https://localhost/myapp'
auth_code = params[:code]
token = client.auth_code.get_token(auth_code, redirect_uri: redirect_uri)

# The access token

# The refresh token -- you probably want to persist this to disk

# oauth2 shorthand to perform requests:
response = token.get('/v1/medias/myhashedid')

Note: These keys are not valid and are for demonstration purposes only.

If you're not using ruby, you can find an OAuth2 library for your own language,
or roll your own authentication using the technical details on this page.

Perform an API request with OAuth credentials

There are three ways to authenticate with your token.

  1. Include it in the access_token query param.
  2. Include it in the bearer_token query param.
  3. Include it in the "Authorization" request header as Bearer %s, where %s is the token.

The Upload API will only support the first two methods. That is, via the access_token or bearer_token in a query param.

Use the Refresh Token to renew your Access Token

With every access token response, we also return a "refresh token". You can trade a refresh token for another access token. By using a refresh token, you can get an API key for a user without requiring re-authorization.

base_url = ''
client_id = '5e7580f112852db6708eac9ce77f6592ffb95a3443e2f038de2ed5a82d7ca8d1'
client_secret = 'f4fa3d09f45c5c5be6e1f9f0a336e24493f9cff9ed310442f4b5270c34be6fc2'
client =, client_secret, site: base_url)

# Trade the refresh_token for a new access_token
old_access_token =, refresh_token: 'thesavedrefreshtoken')
token = old_access_token.refresh!

# Your refresh_token will stay the same until the end-user goes through the
# OAuth flow again.

Note: These keys are not valid and are for demonstration purposes only.

Technical Reference

Site URL

This is just the base URL of the Wistia API. It can be used as the base URL
for the other endpoints.

Authorize URL

Expects a request like:

It will ultimately redirect back to the Redirect URI with a code param if
succesful, or error and error_description params if unsuccessful.

Token URL

It expects requests like:


Responds with JSON in the form:

  "access_token": "ba371cc8c511e0d9114b8e17777ebc4ad5e23811144341f0ca4726d67ff4b19e",
  "token_type": "bearer",
  "expires_in": 21600,
  "refresh_token": "366d1b695bccf10bae1b50bb869ea17187328e5b90045eb6368d7c912f03393c",
  "scope": ["all:read"]

Revoking Access

A user can revoke access to your app by going to Account > My Settings.

Known Issues

  • The wistia-api ruby gem currently does not support oauth. We will be updating this in the future.
  • Only Managers and owners of an account can authorize an application at this time.