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You’ll probably start seeing more YouTube videos with changing thumbnails soon

1 month ago 161

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YouTube is preparing to roll out a new thumbnail testing feature to creators, which means you’ll probably notice thumbnails on videos changing more often.

Thumbnails are the first way in which a creator can advertise a video on YouTube and, often, creators will swap out the thumbnail after the video was first uploaded to help it appeal to more viewers over time. Now, YouTube is making that process a whole lot easier.

Announced this week, YouTube will start to roll out “Thumbnail Test & Compare” to all creators “in the coming weeks.”

The feature will allow creators to upload multiple thumbnails for a new video and test them “evenly” across their viewership. The two thumbnails being tested will appear for different users, with stats provided to the creator on how the thumbnail influenced how many people watched a video, how long they watched, and more.

YouTube explains:

YouTube will show your chosen thumbnails evenly across your video’s viewers, and then will select a winning thumbnail based on which one generates the most watch time share.

After a few days of testing, YouTube will determine a “Winner” if the results are clear, or recommend a “Preferred” choice if things are a little less obvious. No changes to the thumbnail will be made if the test results in fairly even results between the two, though creators can also ignore the results of the test if they wish.

The end result of this for YouTube users will likely be that, in the months to come, videos on YouTube will likely be switching their thumbnails far more frequently. This could result in something you saved to “Watch Later” having a new thumbnail when you return to it, or a channel or the subscription feed showing a new thumbnail for a video that previously caught your eye. Again, this is already an established practice among some channels, but this tool will make it easier and likely see it more widely used across the platform.

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