YouTube’s new ‘test & compare’ feature allows creators to choose the best thumbnail

Jeremy Gan

YouTube has rolled out a thumbnail ‘test and compare’ feature for creators to pinpoint the best thumbnails for their videos. 

It may seem like a small part of what makes a YouTube video successful, but thumbnails are very important as it is essentially the first visual viewers would see of their videos. 

It’s so important that MrBeast, who was using an early version of the thumbnail tester, revealed his videos do better if his mouth was closed in the thumbnails. Yes, viewers care about minute details like that. 

Now all creators will get to fine-tune their thumbnails to their liking as YouTube is rolling out the feature in the coming weeks. 

Announced by YouTube on June 11, the new thumbnail test & compare feature will let creators test out three different thumbnails for a video to see which one is the most appealing for audiences. 

As explained by YouTube’s thread on how it will work, when you’ve uploaded a video with multiple thumbnail options, YouTube will distribute your thumbnail versions equally among your viewers to gain data on which ones generate the most watch time. 

YouTube notes that the test could take a couple of days, or even up to two weeks, for your results to be finalized to find the best one, and even then you may not get a “winner”. In the event of no clear winner, the first option will be shown to audiences.

They explain the testing process length, “The amount of time it takes to get test results is affected by a variety of factors including the amount of impressions your videos get and how different your thumbnails are.” 

Naturally, as YouTube points out, just because their gathered data shows a specific thumbnail may work best, perhaps you may want to use another thumbnail instead, as thumbnail choice is also subjective. 

So if you want to truly min-max your YouTube channel, you now can with the thumbnail tester.

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