How can you pick your YouTube thumbnail?

Well, apparently you can’t. Very annoying.

Obviously I’m just getting into making my own videos for YouTube, and it was pretty surprising to me that you can’t choose the thumbnail of the video that you post.

I guess they had to cut down on people putting big boob cleavage shots in the thumbnail all the time even when their video was about dry cleaning or something.

When I would watch videos on there, I’d always shake my head at the poorly chosen thumbnails in the related video section. Now I know it’s not the fault of the authors. Crap.

Come on, YouTube! Your thumbnail choosing algorithm SUCKS. It sucks big-time donkey-dick. It pisses me off.

I have some videos with some pretty dynamic frames that could be used as a thumbnail, but YouTube insists on choosing the most boring and nondescript frames possible. It’s really a damn shame.

Of course I know that the thumbnail spammers are really to blame, but this is a real inconvenience to me and others I’m sure.

I’ve read so many half-ass tricks and workarounds and “foolproof” methods to get YouTube to pick the frame you want -except most, if not all of them don’t work anymore. The one where you use the mathematical formula to place an image at the exact frame where YouTube will be looking doesn’t work anymore. I’m bad at math anyway but I would have given it a shot.

Some said if you had a really vivid, contrasty frame then that frame will be picked. NO. No, it’s not picked. It’s always the most dull, least-iconic, least-representative-of-the-video frames that get picked. GAH.

Anyway, I don’t want to have to put some image in the video at whatever point YouTube will be looking for it, especially if it breaks up the flow of the video.

There’s apparently nothing to be done about this, since I haven’t found any method out there that’s a bulletproof, repeatable process. Even if there was, I doubt it would take Google long to figure out how to defeat it.

Oh well, I guess it could be worse. Still, I wish Google’s thumbnail program was a little better at choosing a decent thumbnail. So far it looks like YouTube just doesn’t want anyone to click on these videos.

If anyone has any tips, then let me know.

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11 thoughts on “How can you pick your YouTube thumbnail?

  1. I’m experiencing same problem with youtube thumbnail. If I find the tittle unclear to me, I don’t have any other option but to click it and see what’s inside the video. On the other hand, Youtube for sure has a valid reason why they don’t allow users to do this kind of set-up.

  2. Yeah Mike, I can’t deny that YouTube has a very good reason to do this, since it cuts down on the “thumbnail spam”, but it is damned inconvenient.

    I guess it actually helps them in other ways because as you say, sometimes you’re forced to just click on the vid to see what it actually is. That way they get more clicks and views.

    Sucks for me, tho…

  3. Yup! Well, as we all know, what makes a YouTube user become famous is based on the number of clicks. Most users think that the more page views they have, the more that they are becoming popular in the internet. That fact encourages them to upload more videos for this site. Much deeper explanation for YouTube, page views give that illusion that there are so many active users of YouTube where in fact these users are just directed in wrong videos because of the stupid thumbnails they have! At least they are earning from the efforts of other people! LOL

  4. I hate how YouTube select the thumbnails. I always get caught in the middle of a stupid looking face or something and look like a total dork.

    1. I sure wish there was a workaround. If there is, no one is telling.

      Google has WON (this round at least).

  5. You will notice that many videos with hundreds of thousands of views have a sexy, deceiving thumbnail, I recall a short video about boobs surgery with many views because of that!

    1. Hey SG, wow the fee is quite steep for this service. I guess it could be worth it to the right people, though. Very interesting.

  6. Ah John. You got me with that headline. I raced over to find the answer. Now I’m doomed to continue with boring thumbnails not to mention an arrow across the subject’s face if I’m doing an interview.
    I tried every which way to fiddle the beginning frames but in the end it took so much time and as you say, all because the bad guys have mis-used the system.

    Same with tax returns- if we all paid our taxes honestly we wouldn’t need to fill in forms.

    Don’t forget to let us know if you find an answer.

    1. LOL Julia! Sorry, I wish I could help.

      I wasted a ton of time trying every witch doctor formula to get the right thumbnail but nothing works except sheer luck. aargh.

      You’re right it’s a shame that we have to pay for this but I can see where Google is coming from…

      Just keep your fingers crossed when the thumbnails are being generated :)

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