YouTube announces much requested thumbnail A/B testing

Posted by Edith MacLeod on 27 Jun, 2023
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Test and Compare feature lets you make a data-driven choice on the best thumbnail for your video.

Thumbnail split testing.

Image source: Pete Linforth from Pixabay

YouTube has announced a new feature called Test and Compare which will help marketers make data-driven decisions about which is the best thumbnail for their video.

Early testing has already been carried out. A beta version will be rolled out to a few thousand creators in the coming months, and YouTube is planning to make it more widely available next year.

Test and Compare enables you to compare the performance of three thumbnails to pick the winning one. You can upload up to 3 potential thumbnails for your video, and the tool will conduct tests and report back on which performs best.

A screenshot of the feature shows the percentage “watch time” for each after testing has completed.

Thumbnail test report.

Your thumbnail plays a vital role in drawing viewers in to click on your video, so this will be a useful tool for marketers to help identify the best performing one. YouTube says it is a top-requested feature, which is why they are now announcing that it’s in the pipeline.

If you’d like to get involved in testing and feedback for this and other features, you can sign up on YouTube's Creator Research page.

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