YouTube's experimental trialing of auto-generated thumbnails for a small segment of creators without informing those affected has infuriated some users, which instead of their custom thumbnails, the company has replaced them with its own.
The experiment was announced in YouTube's Help Forum, where the company confirmed that it would 'not affect the content of the videos' and that 'no current plans to change or remove the ability to add custom thumbnails' altogether.
While creators design YouTube thumbnails for their videos, which help to maximize their ability to pull traffic by attracting the attention of visitors on the platform and also to serve as a branding around their channels. And though there are number of different tactics that creators use to draw attention to their channels, however one major strategy remains the custom thumbnail creation.
Albeit, YouTube allow creators to use an auto-generated thumbnail instead of own uploaded design, but the creators had to manually opt in for automated thumbnails.
We are running a small experiment where 0.3% of viewers will see an auto-generated thumbnail, instead of your custom thumbnail. We are not removing the ability to create your custom thumbnail, but we hope to gain insights on auto-generated thumbnails for the future.— Team YouTube (@TeamYouTube) June 28, 2018
The company, however was quick to acknowledge that the current trialing of auto-generated thumbnails over custom thumbnails for a small segment of creators is not removing the ability to create custom thumbnail, but to gain insights on auto-generated thumbnails for the future.