Question Does thumbnail size matter?

Discussion in 'YouTube Discussion' started by DragoNate, May 15, 2018 at 4:35 AM.

  1. DragoNate

    DragoNate Well-Known Member TubeBuddy Star

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    We all know how important a thumbnail is in terms of design, but what it's size? Obviously, the higher the resolution, the more clear it is and better it looks, so aiming for 1920x1080 is probably best, compared to 1280x720.
    BUT... does YouTube actually keep the image resolution as-is? Or do they automatically resize it to 720p?
    I've been using 1080p thumbnails for over a year now, but in checking the video source (Ctrl + U) to find the maxresdefault image, it comes up as only 720p. Even when I click "download thumbnail" in the video editor screen, it takes me to the 720p resolution image. That's kinda dumb...
     


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  2. Ikerot

    Ikerot Well-Known Member TubeBuddy Star

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    I actually don't know about that. I've been using 1280x720 for a long time now (that being said, I have used lower resolution than that lol).

    What do you think on this, @Aaron?
     


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  3. Scott Fichter

    Scott Fichter Newbie Member

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    Your post is a good one. I've been compressing my thumbnails but I shouldn't. It's best to upload a uncompressed thumb and let YT do the compression. They know best.
     


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  4. DragoNate

    DragoNate Well-Known Member TubeBuddy Star

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    I've used smaller back when I first started and it seems to stay the same size. But then again, that was before they changed some things. Once I saw someone else using a 1080p image, I started to do the same. That was when you could go Ctrl + U then Ctrl + F, type "thumbnail" and find a link, click on it and boom. Now you have to dig and actually copy/paste a link, but nothing is higher than 720. It's weird.
    What kind of compression do you mean? Do you just mean file format, like .jpg vs .png?
     


  5. Tito Tim

    Tito Tim Member

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    They say that most people are viewing on phones now. So I use 1280x720. If most people are on a 5" screen... why not? I am on a 27" monitor and the thumbnails display so small that I can't imagine any higher resolution would help.
     


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  6. xingcat

    xingcat Well-Known Member TubeBuddy Star

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    Considering the move to mobile is pretty strong, I'd say the resolution is becoming less and less important.
     


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  7. DragoNate

    DragoNate Well-Known Member TubeBuddy Star

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    I guess it's possible. Either way, even if they resize the thumbnail to 720p, a higher starting resolution would help a bit so that it's still very crisp and clear as a smaller image. Maybe.
     


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  8. Ginger Lefty

    Ginger Lefty Active Member Member of the Month

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    I've been working off the same theory as @DragoNate. I have my thumbnail template in GIMP set as 1920 x 1080. I would love to know if it matters or not
     


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  9. Andrew

    Andrew Superman Administrator

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    What I do is down scale 4K images to 1280 X 720 and I think it makes my image standout, then shooting in native 1920 X 1080 then going to 1280 X 720. In the end I think it doesn't really matter as much as IF the thumbnail makes people click on it :)
     


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  10. Scott Fichter

    Scott Fichter Newbie Member

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    I'm talking about compression for JPG. You can compress PNGs too. I suggest submitting them without compression. Let YT do it.
     


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  11. Aaron

    Aaron Well-Known Member Verified Professional

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    I usually do mine at 1920x1080... I figure there is no need for a larger thumb than that.

    I don't know how much I can say "They know best" when it comes to compression but I certainly wouldn't advise compressing anything unless necessary.
     


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  12. kunicross

    kunicross Active Member

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    Usually 1080p or 720p is good quality - I noticed on some points (creator studio app especially) you get thumbs below 720p and then they can start to look a bit blurry so I try to avoid anything below 720p if possible.
     


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  13. Ginger Lefty

    Ginger Lefty Active Member Member of the Month

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    I just mocked up a thumbnail using your suggestion @Andrew and I have to say, it really does pop.
     


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  14. Andrew

    Andrew Superman Administrator

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    Happy to help! :D
     


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