Saturday, January 02, 2016

Removing Thumbnails from YouTube Channel #365

Previously I blogged about declining numbers of views on my YouTube channel - one of the possible explanations for this was the introduction of customized thumbnails. In May of last year I added custom thumbnails to most of my videos and almost immediate noticed a rapid decline in views. I did this on the advice of my YouTube Partner Content manager, but I had to design the thumbnails myself. I opted for a basic plain background with large text, plus a photo of myself. 

Example of one of my thumbnails.
This week I got some negative feedback about the thumbnails - mostly in relation to the photo. "Too stuffy" and "too formal" were the comments, and I was advised to either replace them with something else or drop them altogether. I was also told that they would not tempt people to click on my videos to view. While this was very negative comment, I welcome it and want to act on it.

I have decided to remove all thumbnails from my channel over the next few days, and see what the effect is. Views normally increase in January after the Christmas and New Year period anyway, so hopefully removing the thumbnails might accelerate this growth. I'll report later on any effect - positive, negative, or neutral.

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