December 2, 2020
YouTube auto-generated video thumbnails

Now, YouTube is Testing Auto-Generated Video Thumbnails which is Upsetting Creators

YouTube auto-generated video thumbnails are replacing custom thumbnails, which is makes the platform’s creators quite unhappy…

By far, YouTube is the largest video hosting site on the planet. It claims 1.57 billion MAUs or monthly active users, 30+ million DAUs or daily active users, with over 5 billion shared videos. And, more than 50 million are creator videos.

With so much competition, creators need every advantage to make themselves standout. One such way is with custom thumbnails. In fact, some creators even hire artists to create custom thumbnails. But now, a new test is taking that option away.

YouTube Auto-Generated Video Thumbnails Test Begins

Creators took to Twitter to voice their concerns about new YouTube auto-generated video thumbnails replacing customizable ones. The company states that it’s merely running a limited test. “We are running a small experiment where 0.3% of viewers will see an auto-generated thumbnail, instead of your custom thumbnail. We are not removing the ability to create your custom thumbnail, but we hope to gain insights on auto-generated thumbnails for the future.”


This is a strange experiment considering custom thumbnails are statistically proven to drive more engagement. However, YouTube states it will not remove custom thumbnails.