YouTube is the biggest video platform in the world, and with so many eyeballs and so many creators, it can be a bit difficult to make yourself known. One way YouTube makes it easier to grab attention is with custom video thumbnails. Now, the platform is testing auto-generated thumbnails with some users, though.

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Regardless of where you read it, if you look up tips for YouTube creators looking to get noticed, a compelling custom thumbnail is usually very high on the list. In many cases, (large) creators even sometimes hire artists to help create their thumbnails.

Needless to say, YouTube’s latest test has quite a few creators up in arms. Revealed on Twitter this week, YouTube has stated that it is currently running a “small experiment” in which thumbnails for a video are auto-generated from the video’s content and then replaces the video’s custom thumbnail. This is only enabled for 0.3% of YouTube’s user base, but some of those users are already pretty vocal in their distaste for it.

YouTube has already said that it won’t be removing the ability to create a custom thumbnail and that this test is just to “gain insights on auto-generated thumbnails for the future.”


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