Everything to know about YouTube thumbnails

YouTube is one of the best social media platforms with more than 500 million users. However, if you want to upload a video on the platform, there are some important things you will need to keep in mind. The first and foremost is the thumbnail. So today we will discuss with you in details everything you need to know about YouTube thumbnails.

Do not use the default YouTube Thumbnail

From 2015, users can easily get the still of the best image from a video and set it as a thumbnail. The system automatically compares all the images and selects the best of the lot. But you must avoid using the default YouTube thumbnail. A custom image always helps in branding and allows you to show the real brand image to the people.

How do you set a custom YouTube Thumbnail?

Setting a custom thumbnail on YouTube is easy. Once you have uploaded a video, at the bottom you will see that there are some default thumbnails already provided. But on the right, you will get the “Custom Thumbnail” button. This will allow you to use a customized image from your PC.

Your Thumbnail must be business name or logo

It is important that your thumbnail represents the brand or business, which is running on YouTube. Your thumbnail is nothing short of an asset that will help your brand to grow. Make sure that it is attractive and clearly shows what the video is about so that people click on it immediately.


A Video still might not be your Best Thumbnail

Using a thumbnail from your video might not be the best idea you had in mind. Your video is constantly in motion and therefore capturing the right picture is difficult. The best way to use a thumbnail is to upload a custom image which has been customised only for that video. Youtubers with high-quality thumbnails have much more views than those who do not use a good thumbnail.


Make the Best Use of Color

Bright colours are always attractive, right? So you need to make the best use of them. It will help your videos to get more attention. Here are some important tips to follow.


  • Use contrasting colours for your thumbnail. This will allow the viewers to read the texts easily.
  • Do not put the default colours into use. Make sure that you use custom colours to grab attention.
  • Turn up the saturation a bit to make the colours pop out. Also, sharpen the edges of the thumbnail.


What’s the Right YouTube Thumbnail Size?

According to the Google rule book, the thumbnail size should be around 1280×720 pixels. 640 pixels should be the minimum width of the thumbnail. To get the best effect you need to make full use of the 16:9 aspect ratios. The image size cannot exceed more than 2MB and the file should be in PNG, BMP, GIF, or JPG formats.


The Proper Use of Text

Text in the thumbnail should be easily readable and your viewers should be attracted to it. Here are some other factors that you need to consider in that case.


  • Use the texts over the image or on the side. This will allow the viewers to check both the thumbnail and also the text without problem.
  • Do not use fonts which are too small. It will become difficult for the viewers to read the text.
  • Avoid overuse of text in your thumbnails. Your viewers should understand in a glance what you have to say in the video.
  • Use a concise title and if possible a subtitle. This will make the text even more crisp and clear.
  • Be concise with the text that you are going to use. Ensure that it denotes what you have to say without using too many words. Keep the title as short as possible but it also needs to reflect the idea.


Put a human face into use in the thumbnail

Actually, there is a pretty important reason why you must include a human face in the thumbnail. Psychologically we are drawn to different human faces every day. So it has been observed that we love to see faces on videos. It will surely help the viewers to connect with creators. Viewers love to see the face of their favourite creator in the image this allows them to relate more and open the video.


Keep in mind – you must not only include a human face in the YouTube thumbnail, but it also needs to be highly expressive as well. The expression on the face will surely evoke the feeling of fear, shock, or curiosity in the viewer’s mind. A human expression tells a lot about what is going to be shown in the video. You need to make full use of it.


Do not forget to split test your thumbnail

The split test helps you to ensure that the right size for the YouTube thumbnail has been set. It also shows you whether the other aspects are well crafted or not. It basically shows a preview of the thumbnail before you release the video. Once you have launched the video, ask your audience about their feedback. Evaluate them and make sure to learn from the mistakes that you have made or the improvements that can be brought.


So here are the important things you need to remember and note down when you sit to create a thumbnail for your next video on YouTube.


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