YouTube experiments with auto-generated thumbnails, creators not happy

/ 08:46 PM July 02, 2018

Image: AFP/Lionel Bonaventure

YouTube is running a “small and brief” experiment, involving 0.3 percent of users for a few weeks. However, it’s causing a bit of an uproar among the community of creators.

When browsing YouTube videos, each link has a preview image, or thumbnail, as they call it. For those YouTube creators looking to get more views, a custom thumbnail could make a difference and often they put great effort into making theirs stand out, which is why the latest decision by the company to test auto-generated thumbnails has not been well received.


Therefore, 0.3 percent of viewers will see YouTube’s auto-generated thumbnail, across all channels, instead of the custom-made ones from the creators. This was announced in a post, in a YouTube Help Forum on June 27, noting that “this will not affect the content of the videos” and “There are no current plans to change or remove the ability to add custom thumbnails.”

Despite noting that it is “a top request [they] get from creators who use them,” many have taken to Twitter to express their unhappiness about this trial designed to test “effectiveness,” which some feel YouTube could have publicized better beforehand, rather than waiting for someone to confront them.

In response to a tweet from @AlarconGareca on June 28, @TeamYouTube followed up with more explanations, noting that 99.7 percent of users “still see the creator’s custom thumbnail.”

Other tweets have accused YouTube of making changes that “literally zero people asked for” but mostly the criticism was the lack of a warning. JB



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TOPICS: experiment, thumbnail, Twitter, Users, Youtube
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