Social Media

What is a thumbnail

A thumbnail – is a clickable image, a preview of your video. It is a cover which tells the audience what this video will be about. No matter whether your video content is high-quality, thumbnails are the only chance for your channel to go viral. It is a simple YouTube algorithm which counts on how many people click on your video. Then, it decides if it is worthy to put it into recommendations. Here we will explain how it works and why it is important to use custom thumbnails. Also, we will talk about how to make them with the help of YouTube thumbnail creator.

Why you should think about thumbnails at all

Imagine that you’re looking for something on YouTube. Think about what will catch your attention-a blurry screenshot or an illustration or a high-quality photo with descriptive text and thoughtful background? Many people are visual creatures and unconsciously choose the most visually appealing thumbnail that stands out among others. While uploading your content you can choose a random screenshot from the video. But will it be as intriguing and recognizable as with the custom thumbnail? Will your possible audience even notice your video? So, here are the goals while making a thumbnail:

  • Choose a high-quality picture that will look good on any device – the recommended YouTube dimensions are: 1280 on 720 px. Keep the size of the image under 2 MB and save it as JPEG, PNG, GIF or BMP.
  • The picture should relate to the content – don’t try to confuse people by making loud statements on your thumbnail. If they click and see that the video is not about what was said on the preview image, you will quickly lose all followers. A thumbnail should represent your message. 
  • It should stand out amongst others – you can choose one template and brand color for all videos on your channel. So, the viewer immediately understands that this video is made by you. Here is how you can get a loyal following and build your brand. A pattern thumbnail should include: your channel logo, color and, if necessary, descriptive text. 
  • Read the YouTube Terms of Service – don’t break the copyright law by using the thumbnails of other channels and make your images age-appropriate. There should not be any nudity, violence or any other shocking images.

As a side note: don’t try to put way too much text on your thumbnail or add way too much elements to it. It can be smiles, play buttons, arrows, etc. This will confuse people making an impression that your videos are low-quality.  

How to make YouTube preview images with a thumbnail creator?

If you’re not a web-designer, then you should have some trouble creating something that will bring people’s attention to your channel. That is why you can choose to make a thumbnail by using premade images and edit them as you wish. There are plenty of designs on All you have to do is choose the template that represents most your channel. Then, add some text or change the setup by dropping and dragging elements, changing the colors. 

Here’s how you can quickly create a thumbnail for your channel that will bring some views. Also, this will help to build trust with your audience, making your videos look more well-thought and professional. 

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