In the ever-evolving creator landscape, it's exciting to see new features roll out aimed at enhancing workflow—YouTube is introducing one such innovation called Test & Compare. This new tool is designed to help creators A/B test their thumbnails, allowing you to assess the performance of up to three different thumbnails (for one video). The idea is to help you as a creator make data-driven decisions, optimize your thumbnail strategy, and increase your chances of attracting more viewers.
YouTube recently unveiled the early testing of this much-anticipated feature on the Creators Insider’s YouTube channel. Currently, this feature is available to only a few hundred creators, but YouTube plans to extend the beta version to a few thousand more in the coming months, with a general release planned for next year. If you wish to get access to beta testing, you must apply via the YouTube Creator Research program.
How YouTube’s Test & Compare Thumbnail Feature Can Help Live Streamers
Test & Compare is a handy tool, particularly for live streamers who post Video on Demand (VOD) content on YouTube. For instance, you could use the feature to determine whether a thumbnail showcasing an exciting in-game moment attracts more viewers than a thumbnail featuring your reaction. Overall, this functionality allows you to optimize your thumbnails based on actual viewer engagement data, thus boosting performance on the platform.
Some creators who currently have access, such as Mr. Beast, have already seen some useful insights using the feature. Mr. Beast’s A/B experiment included using less expressive, more natural facial expressions in thumbnails as opposed to his usual more animated thumbnails—the results show that the more natural expressions are leading to more clicks. This is just one real-life example of how creators can use the Test & Compare feature for optimizing YouTube thumbnails.
Creating Testable Thumbnails Using Streamlabs Thumbnail Creator
To help you get the most out of YouTube's Test & Compare feature, we recommend trying Streamlabs thumbnail maker. This tool features over 150 thumbnail templates to help simplify the process of creating thumbnails (especially multiple for one video). Need more details, check out our thumbnail guide is the perfect primer for creating images that attract viewers' attention and get some tips from Kevin below.
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We're excited to see how this feature will help increase your video performance on YouTube. As always, we'll be keeping you up-to-date on its roll-out and other exciting developments coming from YouTube and other creator platforms.