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 behaviour 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, allowing advertisers to make an informed decision when selecting which thumbnail they’d like to accompany their video.
What’s new? Currently, the pilot is only being tested on a few hundred creators, however, YouTube is planning to launch a beta version in the coming months to expand the scheme to thousands more. Next year, the video platform is planning to the feature more broadly available next year.
Why now? According to YouTube, the Test & Compare tool has been one of its most top 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,” a YouTube spokesperson said. “We know that you have been anxiously waiting this capability so thank you to our community for your patience and feedback along the way.”
What’s next? According to YouTube, there will be more announcements as testing gets underway later this year with regards to a more general roll out in 2023. 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.