Choose a thumbnail for your YouTube Video

You might come across videos on YouTube which have blank or terribly looking thumbnail image. Usually, when a video is uploaded, YouTube automatically picks the center frame and sets it as a thumbnail image. Users have no really control over these thumbnail images, except for some smart tricks to get their desired thumbnail image, but most of us don’t have the time or patience to practice those tricks.

YouTube Thumbnail Option

YouTube realized this problem, and they’ve made it possible for users to pick one out of three thumbnail images. YouTube captures three thumbnail images at x/4, x/2 and 3x/4 seconds and video owners can choose any one of these thumbnail images by clicking on “Edit Video Info” button next to their video on My Videos page.

This post was published by on August 7, 2007

About the Author: Thilak Rao works as a Social Media Expert. He is one of the first professional bloggers from India, and he loves to write, travel and click photos. Follow him on Twitter @thilak

  • http://www.rishiraj.info Rishi

    This is a good one! So now people can choose a better view for thumbnail which can make there video more attractive! :)

  • http://www.tech4dummies.net praveen

    Hey great information, I am looking for this for my videos.

  • http://www.techlike.info Amit

    who is that guy in the pic!! Lol

  • http://blogulate.com Blogulate

    Other video sharing sites like metacafe had this feature since a long time

  • http://youtube.com/profile?user=usmansharifmicky Micky

    can any one help me PLEASE! my thumbnail is not changing and it been about 2 to 3 dayz its very annoying plz help

  • fairfax county sheriff

    I uploaded two videos, one today and one yesterday, and neither has the option of selecting a thumbnail to represent it. All I see are three empty thumbnail frames from which to choose. How do I get the thumbnails to show?

  • http://youtube.com/andialeigh Shannon

    What if all three thumbnails suck? How can you choose a screenshot of your own?

  • http://shootstreet.wordpress.com/2009/01/16/the-viral-strategy/ The Viral Strategy « Shootstreet’s Blog

    [...] Optimise your Thumbnail: YouTube gives you 3 thumbnail choices. Use the most provocative image you can – or embed a specific thumbnail into the timeline using the YouTube thumbnail caculator or read more about the ratio rule at Techcrunch. [...]

  • CupcakeSpecial

    supposedly you put a pic in the middle of the video. the direct middle. if the video is 3 minutes you put it at 1:30 i guess. i hate that they don’t let you choose your own thumbnail from the video. that is just stupid.

  • http://www.ganhedinheiroonline.com.br Como Ganhar Dinheiro na Internet

    Thanks a lot!

  • Pooter

    I agree with shannon, most of the time they all suck. For one of my videos, I ended up being given the options of the ground, the ground with my foot sticking in on the side, or me bent over picking something up. All very lame.

    I wish we had MORE options!

  • http://www.stopmotioncentral.com bricky

    this does not work..ie…putting the image in at 1/4 1/2 etc..
    Youtube have changed it ..

  • visitor

    Ludicrous, now we will have more ‘thumbnail fraud’ ie you click a video because the thumnail shows an attractive girl, then when you watch the video it’s very boring
    Look at sexphil’s videos, a master in the deceipt

  • zuue

    hmm i dont think so …it seems like youtube is picking up some random positions for thumbnails .

  • hakanfromturkey

    thanks for info :)

  • hakanfromturkey

    thanks for info :)