YouTube is piloting a new feature to help marketers pick the perfect thumbnail for their videos.
The Test & Compare tool, also known as A/B thumbnail testing, will provide performance data, revealing which designs drive the highest click-through rates (CTRs).
Why we care. This new feature will help advertisers better understand the behavior of their audience, so that they can create a winning thumbnail, potentially resulting in a higher CTR and improved engagement.
How it works. Marketers will be able to upload a maximum of three thumbnails per video using the Test & Compare tool. YouTube bots will then run experiments on these images to identify which one is the strongest performer. This will help advertisers make an informed decision when selecting which thumbnail they’d like to accompany their video.
What’s new? Only a few hundred creators are part of the test right now. However, YouTube plans to launch a beta version in the coming months to expand the tool to thousands more. Next year, the video platform plans to make the feature more broadly available next year.
Why now? The Test & Compare tool has been one of YouTube’s most requested features and so it is responding to consumer demand.
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What has YouTube said? “The team is working to make the tool available more broadly starting next year, but we wanted to share that testing is officially underway because we know that this is a top requested feature and it will help you make more data-driven decisions about your thumbnail strategy. We know that you have been anxiously waiting for this capability so thank you to our community for your patience and feedback along the way,” a YouTube spokesperson said.
What’s next? There will be more announcements as testing begins ahead of the planned broader rollout. A spokesperson added:
- “If you’d like to help us test features like this in the future, you can sign up to be considered on our Creator Research page.”
Deeper dive: For more information from the YouTube Creator technical team and the wider Creator community, check out Creator Insider’s YouTube channel.