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Viral Video Wannabe

Upload Custom YouTube Thumbnails

A few days ago YouTube users were up in arms over some of YouTube’s changes posted about in their blog. I wrote about that here.

However, YouTube has just tonight added a brand new feature which allows for Partners to upload a custom thumbnail image of their choosing. This image does not have to come from the video itself, but it can not be sexually suggestive, violent or graphic, according to the notice that appears below the new thumbnail uploading tool.

Here is a screenshot:

To upload a custom image to be used as your thumbnail, simply go to edit your video details as you would to change the video’s title, description, tags or other particulars, and you will see the new tool.

This allows YouTube Partners to continue branding their content while not having to pause and insert awkward still images at the 50% point in their videos. It is a great move from YouTube, just one that I wish was available to all users, not just Partners.

27 Responses to “Upload Custom YouTube Thumbnails”

  1. Casey Says:

    Now there’s even more reason for me to read your book and become a partner, if only for the slight privilege of uploading my own choice of thumbnail! :)

  2. cfarmerlies Says:

    I completely agree with with you on making it a feature available to all users.
    Seems like it’s kind of making the rich richer.

  3. Uncultured Says:

    I’ve had some limited success uploading thumbnails. I tried uploading a 960 by 540 thumbnail and YouTube rejected it. I then cut the dimensions in half to 480 by 270 and YouTube (tentatively) says it accepted it.

    I wish we didn’t have to guess as to the proper dimensions and file formats :-(

  4. YouTube Partners: Upload Your Own Thumbnail OR ELSE! « YouTube Reviewed Says:

    [...] as it’s not “sexually suggestive”). Alan Lastufka (aka FallofAutumnDistro) has a write-up about the changes on his blog (and the picture above is from his [...]

  5. Matt Says:

    Alan, you know I don’t usually do thing like this, but to put it simply THIS SUCKS. You really screwed this one up YouTube. Thanks for furthering the divide between Partners and Non-Partners and making it even MORE difficult for non-partners to get their videos noticed.

  6. scareykatt Says:

    “Thanks for furthering the divide between Partners and Non-Partners and making it even MORE difficult for non-partners to get their videos noticed.”

    Don’t forget this part, MATT.

    The non partners can pay YouTube to “sponsor” our videos to be search.

    WOW! It pays to be a PARTNER!


  7. Andrew Says:

    It’s odd how the the things you get with having a partner account are the types of things that people would usually usually get with having a pro account on a website.

  8. Carrie-Lee Says:

    Oh, thank god. I have about the worst track record for thumnails. Seriously - Even in all three I’m usually making some horrid face. :P

  9. Will Video for Food » YouTube Serving “Money Making Patrician Class” While Boasts Revenue Says:

    [...] Post’s observations). YouTube’s most recent benefit provided to partners exclusively is their ability to select their own thumbnail (while non partners will now “roll the dice” on a random choice. This isn’t [...]

  10. Julian Says:

    Well this just sucks. I mean so far I’ve had excellent luck with my random thumbnails, such as my last video where I am holding your book to the camera, but soon enough I’ll get a bad one I’m sure.

  11. Pubblicare, Condividere e Guardare i Video Online: News e Segnalazioni Del 10 Dicembre 2008 Says:

    [...] Thumbnails Personalizzate su YouTube ? Solo i Partners Possono Utilizzarle - (Viral Video Wannabe) Youtube ha aggiunto la funzionalità di personalizzazione delle anteprime dei video (tramite upload di una immagine a scelta), ma purtroppo solo chi è stato incluso nel “partner program” (programma di advertising nei video) può usufruire di questo vantaggio … leggi articolo originale… [...]

  12. Raymond Says:

    The thumbnails don’t appear to be working at the 1/3 1/2 and 2/3 position of the clip.
    I usually aim for halfway but somehow it is a random snapshot ?

  13. BobbySoFamous Says:

    Everyone should have this feature, with a quick & easy flagging option for inappropriate thumbnails. Partners, who already usually have a ton of subscribers and views, get the added bonuses of autoplay (further increase their views) and an image over their subscribe bar (further the likelihood of getting more subscribers). It’s like making the rich richer and the poor poorer!

  14. Angry User Says:

    “It’s like making the rich richer and the poor poorer!” I agree…
    It is not fair.

  15. 7 tips to Google for better branding on YouTube » Branded Channels Says:

    [...] video, paying customers should be allowed to upload a thumbnail of their own choosing. A number of partner channels are already allowed to do so, so this should be an easy change for YouTube to implement on brand [...]

  16. Richard van den Boogaard Says:

    Strange that only YouTube partners are allowed to customize thumbnails, meanwhile brand channel owners cannot change them…

    Read my recent post with several tips for improvement on YouTube:

  17. Jack Says:

    Why dont they let none partners use this feature
    why does it always have to be partners
    i am sick of it

  18. Smokeless Cigarette Says:

    Yeah that’s nonsense, this should be a feature available to all.

  19. Cure For Constipation Says:

    I absolutely 100% agree! How can Youtube expect to gain more partners when they’re making it increasingly difficult with tactics like this!

    Doesn’t it only make sense to expand upon the amount of partners by giving non-partners greater ability to generate traffic?

  20. peppcast on youtube Says:

    I agree as well. I will likely never be a YouTube partner (nor successful…), but I think we should all be able to have custom thumbnails. Seriously. I’m not sure why it is YouTube partners only in the first place!

  21. surjeet Says:


  22. haseeb Says:

    i wish to upload image on youtube

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Viral Video Wannabe...

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…is written by Alan “fallofautumndistro” Lastufka, co-author of the book, “YouTube: An Insider’s Guide
to Climbing the Charts“. This site offers resources
for readers of my book and new tips and techniques expanding upon what is in my book. Visit the Purchase page above to order your own copy today!