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Thread: Youtube thumbnail oddities

  1. #1

    Smile Youtube thumbnail oddities

    So im getting utterly frustrated with the way youtube pics it's thumbnails for videos. If it wasn't bad enough it only gives you 3 options (unless you're a partner but let's not go there), but there doesnt seem to be any pattern or logic to the way it choses.

    So I wanted to re-edit my recent 'baby world peace' video so I can get a thumbnail of the baby (we all know a pic of a cute baby is going to do better than my ugly mug). At first I start making some cuts of um's and things which I should have done for the first edit anyway, and at the same time extending the shots of the baby around the sections I know the current frame choices are. I cut 2 seconds from the edit and re-uploaded. Oddly, noticing it chose the exact same frames.

    I tried this a second time, with no major changes, but swapping the baby for me on the timeline where the YT frame choice currently landed......Unbelievably, it chose some frame in a different place.

    Ok, major edit time. I include an extra clip of the baby at the start and end of the video, all in all adding about 9 seconds to the edit, and upload.

    Wow! Finally I see a frame of the baby, but it's one where her head is cut off and it's not really clear. On my timeline this frame fell somewhere on the shot between 1:19 and 1:24. So I replaced this clip with a better shot of the baby holding the phone which was in the video earlier. Without changing the length of the video at all, youtube will surely pic the same frame at that point in the timeline?

    No, it didn't. It picked a frame at approx 1:47. A whole 20 seconds later!

    I'm going mad here, has anyone worked out how youtube pics it's thumbnails because there seems to be no logic to it whatsoever!

  2. #2


    I think they are chosen at a sort of random difference of image algorithm.

  3. #3


    Heres what im talking about, the top are the 3 options for the big edit upload where I added about 9 seconds of video. This was the first time I saw any frame of the baby, swapped the clip out, length stayed the same and the bottom pic is of the next upload. The last clip was approx 20 seconds latter in the video. But notice the other 2 frames are exactly the same!!

    Just madness.

  4. #4


    I gave up after the 10th edit re-work and upload. I got a frame of her but still not a great one.

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