Last week at VidCon, the annual video creator and advertising conference in Anaheim, California, YouTube announced a Test & Compare feature with a few hundred creators.
The features enables creators to upload up to three thumbnails for one video, and to identify the one that performs the best. In a video, YouTube said the function, known as A/B testing, has been a “top requested feature” by users.
While it is still in the early stages, the goal is to launch the feature broadly next year.
Marketers can see in the YouTube video announcement a screenshot of the feature being developed, which shows how its Test & Compare feature reports each thumbnail’s “watch time” as a percentage of performance once it completes an A/B test.
“We wanted to share the testing right away, because we know this is a top requested feature, and it will help with data-driven decisions about your thumbnail strategies,” says Lauren Delanis, a program manager at YouTube.
For some, the feature is available as a YouTube Studio option.
Top creators have been experimenting with the thumbnail formats for years.
Last year, YouTube star Mr Beast revealed that he has a thumbnail team that makes around 20 versions per video. The team plans the thumbnails before creating the clip. They will change the video if it has a low click-through rate.
This helps Mr Beast focus less on the numbers and think more about quality, reported Business Insider, “adding that aspiring creators have to figure out their own path.”