YouTube is working on making video thumbnails even more clickable

Ever get annoyed by some YouTube video thumbnails that are overtly clickbait? They’re a crucial component of a creator’s toolkit because they aid in drawing viewers’ attention as they scroll through the platform’s abundance of material. YouTube is about to step up this strategy with a possibly game-changing tool that will allow producers to A/B test different thumbnails to determine which one performs best.

On its Creator Insider channel, YouTube announces the information and explains how what it refers to as Test & Compare works. Creators will have access to statistics to determine which thumbnails are generating the most traffic after running their videos with an alternate set of 2-3 thumbnails for a single video. Testing has already begun with a very small group, and the current goal is to distribute a beta version to thousands of fortunate creators over the course of the upcoming months before making it available to more people next year.

On several venues, including Twitter, creators and fans alike have voiced their enthusiasm and interest regarding this upgrade. While some people are thrilled about these improvements, others are worried about the possible consequences and wonder if they might unintentionally encourage the growth of the clickbait trend.

Whether or when YouTube will eventually expand its A/B testing to video titles is a very good question. Is there simply too much emphasis on marketing and optimization, maybe to the detriment of attention that might be given to content quality? The only thing we can be certain of in this situation is that some very magnificent thumbnails won’t fall from the sky.

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