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YouTube Announces Roll out Plan for Thumbnail A/B testing

After working on the option over the last year, YouTube has finally announced a roll out plan for its new thumbnail A/B testing option for video creators.

YouTube Thumbnail Testing

YouTube originally announced that it was developing its thumbnail A/B testing feature in June last year, which will provide a new way for channel managers to experiment with a key discovery element.

Since then, many YouTubers have been requesting updates, especially as YouTube has continued to promote the importance of thumbnail experimentation.  

And now, YouTube has outlined a full roll-out plan.

As per YouTube:

“The long awaited thumbnail “Test and Compare” feature has begun rolling out to creators with access to “Advanced Features”

Advanced Features is available to YouTube channel managers who’ve verified their account via a phone based process, proving that they are an actual real human. You can learn more about the process here.

Thumbnail Test and Compare will enable channel managers to upload and compare the performance of up to three thumbnail images, which will be sample tested with YouTube users.

“YouTube will show your chosen thumbnails evenly across your videos viewers and will select a winning thumbnail based on which one generates the most watch time share.”

YouTube says that it’s optimizing for watch time because it believes that this metric is the best way to guide your content strategy decisions, and “support your chances of success on the platform”. In other words, YouTube wants you to focus on this element to grow your channel, which means that it’s the key thing that drives exposure and reach.

YouTube says that thumbnail Test and Compare is still in its early stages, and may be expanded in future. But if you want to try it out, now you can.

And given that big YouTubers like MrBeast test and compare up to 20 thumbnail variations for every upload, there just might be something to it.

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