Pragadeesh is a developer turned marketer, currently working as a content marketer at Animaker - a drag-and-drop video making tool that lets anyone create engaging animated videos using pre-made templates and ready-to-go assets with zero technical skills.
Optimize your thumbnail image for the best dimensions: 1280 pixels wide and 720 pixels tall. The thumbnail should have a minimum width of 640 pixels and follow an aspect ratio of 16:9.
Ever feel like your YouTube videos aren’t getting the attention they deserve?
You’ve spent hours making your videos entertaining and informative.
But why are people ignoring them?
It might be because your video thumbnails are failing to grab their attention or give the viewers a good first impression.
Well, your thumbnail image is your video’s first impression. Because of YouTube primarily being a visual platform, the thumbnail image is the first thing your viewers will see before they read the title of your video.
For this reason, a thumbnail plays a huge part in deciding whether a person will watch or ignore a video. Moreover, it helps you improve your channel’s brand recognition apart from attracting more eyeballs to your content.
Because of thumbnails being pivotal in getting more views for your YouTube videos, we’ve put together a guide on everything you need to know about custom thumbnails for YouTube, specifically, we’ll look at:
YouTube Thumbnail Dimensions: Everything You Need to Know
Below is a list of technical requirements for a YouTube thumbnail image. All the following recommendations come directly from google, so it’s safe to say that they’re reliable.
Best YouTube Thumbnail Size
The best YouTube thumbnail size is 1280 x 720 pixels. The larger size has to do with the quality of the image.
If you use low-resolution images, they’ll look pixelated when used as a preview image in the embedded player, or a suggestion for the next watch.
For this reason, you want a high-resolution image that won’t look blurred when scaled up.
While 1280 pixels is the ideal width, the minimum recommended width of a thumbnail image is 640 pixels. An image with a width lower than 640 pixels cannot be set as a thumbnail for a video on YouTube.
Recommended Aspect Ratio
Your thumbnail image should maintain an aspect ratio of 16:9. Aspect ratio is derived by comparing the width of the image to its height and expressing this comparison as a ratio.
An aspect ratio of 16:9 means your thumbnail image should be 16 units wide and 9 units tall.
Why 16:9 ratio? Because that’s the ratio used most often in YouTube players and previews. You could use a simple aspect ratio calculator to make sure your thumbnails follow this ratio.
Maximum File Size Limit
The maximum upload size of a YouTube thumbnail image is 2MB. Keep the file size under 2MB to be able to successfully upload it to YouTube.
Accepted File Formats
The file formats accepted by YouTube for a thumbnail image are jpg, png, gif, and bmp.
Are you looking to set a custom thumbnail image for your YouTube video? To be able to set a custom thumbnail for a video on YouTube, you need to first enable this functionality on YouTube. Read on to learn how you could do that.
How to Enable Custom Thumbnails On YouTube
A standard YouTube account doesn’t come with the ability to upload custom YouTube thumbnails. In order for your account to gain this ability, you need to verify it.
Here’s how you can verify your account and start uploading custom thumbnails:
1. Log in to YouTube
2. Click on your profile icon in the top right corner of the page
3. From the dropdown menu, select ‘Settings’
4. In the ‘Your account’ section, click on ‘View additional features’
5. Click on the blue button that says ‘Verify’ right below your channel name
6. Choose how you’d like the verification code sent, either by text or call, then enter the phone number you’d like to receive the verification code on and click ‘Submit’.
7. Enter the verification code and click ’Submit’
You should now see a confirmation message saying that your account has been verified.
Now that we have enabled this feature, let’s look at how to make a custom thumbnail with the perfect YouTube thumbnail size.
How to Create a YouTube Thumbnail with Picmaker
Making a thumbnail for YouTube can seem daunting, especially when you consider making one using full-blown graphic design tools that have complex interfaces and features.
While they provide you with flexibility, these tools have steeper learning curves and make it time-consuming to create even a simple image.
If you’re looking for an easy way to create eye-catching YouTube thumbnail images in a snap, you’re in luck. Picmaker is a free tool exclusively made for the purpose of creating YouTube graphics.
Being the one of a kind tool that it is, it’s been built with speed and ease of use in mind. The best part, Picmaker has over 700 pre-made YouTube thumbnail templates that are entirely customizable and have been made with conversions in mind so you don’t have to worry about creating an attention-grabbing thumbnail from scratch.
To start off simple, we’d be using a pre-made template as our foundation to create a YouTube thumbnail image in less than a minute. If you want to create a YouTube thumbnail from scratch using Picmaker, our article on How to make a smashing YouTube thumbnail in 5 mins! has got you covered.
First, sign up for a free Picmaker account(Picmaker is absolutely free, forever).
In the next screen that appears, click on the “YOUTUBE THUMBNAILS” button to create your own custom YouTube thumbnail.
Once you’re in the app’s dashboard, you’ll see that the ‘Prebuilt’ tab in the main menu is already open. The “Prebuilt” tab in the main menu has a wide collection of pre-made templates to get you going in seconds.
Templates have been categorized to help you find the desired template fast. Choose a category by clicking on the ‘All Prebuilts’ dropdown and select the template of your choice.
Everything about the chosen template can be customized, from the background, text, font to the graphics and placement of design elements.
The image is automatically set to a YouTube thumbnail’s ideal dimensions (1280 x 720 pixels), if you wish to change this, simply click on the gear icon in the top left corner of the dashboard to set the custom dimensions.
Once you’re done customizing the template, click on the ‘Preview’ button in the top-right corner to get a sneak peek of how the thumbnail image would look like in different places on YouTube.
Finally, click on the ‘Download’ button in the top-right corner to download the YouTube thumbnail image onto your computer.
Great, that’s about it! You can now easily design your own custom thumbnails for your YouTube videos.
YouTube Thumbnail Best Practices
We’ve identified a few best practices that will help you design effective YouTube thumbnails. Here are four best practices to get you started.
Use Good Color Contrast
If you use text in your thumbnails, you need to make sure that the text is readable and draws the eye in.
How do you do that? By achieving a high contrast between the text and the background.
Two different colors have high contrast (for instance, black and yellow) while two similar colors (say, orange and yellow) have low contrast.
In the image below, the text on the left is more readable than the text on the left. This is because the color of the text on the left contrasts well with the color of the background.
Fortunately, Picmaker’s pre-made templates have been designed with this best practice in mind.
You need to be aware of YouTube’s guidelines when designing thumbnails for your videos. Specifically, it’s against YouTube’s policies to post thumbnails that:
Are pornographic or sexually explicit.
Feature violence primarily intended to be shocking.
Violate copyright laws.
Use illegal typefaces: Use free or purchased fonts.
Keep the Design and Font Consistent
Adopting a consistent style for your thumbnails familiarizes your brand with your audience and helps them identify your content from other videos. This can help drive clicks, views and build brand recognition.
Neil Patel does a great job of staying consistent with the use of fonts and colors that match his brand perfectly.
In addition, making a thumbnail gets a lot easier when you adopt a consistent style. Using a tool like Picmaker, you could easily create a template that can be reused later for recreating your YouTube thumbnails.
Are you frustrated by the low-quality thumbnail options YouTube auto-generated for you?
Are you looking to change(or set) custom thumbnails for your YouTube videos?
In this article, we give you easy step-by-step instructions on:
1. How to change a thumbnail on YouTube for a video that’s already been published.
2. How to add a custom thumbnail while you’re publishing a video to YouTube.
How to Change a Thumbnail on YouTube For a Published Video
Your YouTube account doesn’t come with the ability to upload custom thumbnails by default. In order for your account to gain this ability, you need to first enable the custom thumbnail option.
Once enabled, the process of setting a custom thumbnail for a published video is straightforward and involves just a few clicks.
1. Log in to YouTube.
2. Click on your profile icon in the top right corner and select YouTube Studio(beta)’ from the dropdown menu.
3. Click on the ‘Videos’ tab on the left side of the page and then click on the title or thumbnail of the video for which you want to change the thumbnail.
4. In the next screen that appears, under the ‘Basic’ tab, you’d see a section named ‘Thumbnail’. Under this section, you’d see three auto-generated thumbnail options and a button on the far left that says ‘Custom thumbnail’. Click on this button to upload your custom image.
5. Now select the file you’d want to set as a thumbnail and click ‘Open’. Make sure that it adheres to all the technical recommendations. In the example below, the selected image has been optimized for the best YouTube thumbnail size, is under 2 MB, is in PNG format and follows the 16:9 aspect ratio.
6. Finally, click on the ‘SAVE’ button in the top-right corner of the page. This will save the changes and apply the thumbnail to your video.
When you visit your channel, you’ll now see that the thumbnail is live! Wondering how you could set a custom thumbnail to a video while getting it published? Read on to learn how you could do that.
How to Add a Custom Thumbnail While Publishing a Video
YouTube makes it easy to set a custom thumbnail to a video while publishing it.
After successfully uploading your video, you’d see a section at the bottom of the page named ‘VIDEO THUMBNAILS’ with three images. These images are screenshots from the video you just uploaded and have been auto-generated by YouTube so you could set one of them as your video thumbnail.
To the right of these thumbnail images, you’d see a button that says ‘Custom thumbnail’. Simply click on this button to upload and set the image of your choice as a thumbnail of the video.
Once you’ve successfully set your custom image as a thumbnail of the video, you can see a preview of it in the top left corner of the page.
If for some reason, you want to change the image you just uploaded, you could do that by clicking on the same image at the bottom of the page to swap it with another one.
The Instagram video length requirement depends on the post type. But, here’s the short answer: the length limit for a regular feed video is 3 seconds to 1 minute.
Are you wondering how long can Instagram videos be?
With four types of Instagram videos (Feed video, Story video, Live video, and IGTV video) existing currently, it can be quite confusing to know what the required length is for each video type.
Don’t worry. This article has you covered.
In this article, we’ll briefly explain about the length requirement for each type of Instagram video. As a bonus, we’ll also cover how you can post longer videos to Instagram with a nifty little hack.
Ready? Let’s get started.
Length Limit for Every Type of Instagram Video
Like we said before, the length requirement for a video on Instagram depends on the post type. Here are four kinds of Instagram videos and their length requirements:
Instagram Feed Video Length: 3 seconds – 1 minute
Instagram Story Video Length: Up to 15 seconds
Instagram Live Video Length: Up to 1 hour
IGTV Video Length: 15 seconds – 10 minutes (up to 1 hour for larger accounts)
Instagram Feed Video Length
Your Instagram feed video is a traditional video post that appears on your main Instagram profile page. Your feed video should be between 3 seconds and 1 minute in length. You won’t be able to post a video to your Instagram feed if it’s shorter than 3 seconds and longer than 1 minute.
However, Instagram lets you select a video that’s longer than 1 minute and post a 1-minute section of the video. Let’s see how we can do this with the Instagram app.
First, tap on the plus (+) button at the bottom of your feed screen.
Then select the video from your camera roll and tap “Next”.
In the next screen that appears, you’ll be given with the option to add a filter, a caption to the video and trim the video. To trim the video, tap on the ‘Trim’ tab at the bottom of the screen.
Now hold and drag the start and finish handles until you have the portion you want to use.
Instagram Story Video Length
An Instagram Story video will be visible only for 24 hours. After that time, it just disappears. Videos posted to your Instagram story cannot be longer than 15 seconds. If you select a video that’s longer than 15 seconds, Instagram will chop it into 15-second clips for you.
This, however, works only for videos that are up to a minute in length. This is because Instagram limits the number of clips generated to four. For a video that’s longer than a minute, you can chop it up yourself using Instagram’s trimming tool, similar to how we chopped the feed video above.
If you were to shoot an Instagram story live in the app, Instagram would allow you to shoot up to ten 15-second clips in a single take.
Instagram Live Video Length
Instagram live lets you broadcast live videos for up to an hour without retakes. The live video cannot be replayed after the broadcast and cannot be reposted. Once you hit the one hour limit, you can go live again for another hour and so on.
IGTV Video Length
Instagram TV is an add-on to your main account that lets creators upload high-quality, long-form videos. IGTV allows you to upload videos that are between 15 seconds and 10 minutes in length.
For larger accounts – accounts that are verified or have lots of followers, the upload limit extends to 1 hour.
Great, that’s about it! Do you want to post a video to Instagram but it exceeds the length limit? Read on to learn a hack that would allow you to get around this issue.
One Handy Instagram Video Length Limit Hack for Posting Longer Videos
There are moments when you’d want to post a long video to Instagram that’s several minutes in length. One way to get around the length limit issue is to create a carousel post.
Image Source: TechCrunch
A carousel post lets you share up to 10 photos or videos as a single post that users can swipe through. If you have a video that’s longer than a minute, you can chop it into separate clips and upload them into a carousel post.
You could use Instagram’s built-in trimming tool or an online video trimmer to chop the video. Make sure to keep each clip under a minute.
To create a carousel post, tap on the carousel icon(looks like a bunch of squares stacked on top of each other) in the bottom right corner of the screen and select the clips you want to upload.
We’ll go through each of these steps in detail. To begin with, let’s look at how you can add a banner(or channel art) to your YouTube channel.
How to Add YouTube Channel Art
Adding a banner to your YouTube channel takes just a few seconds.
1. Log in to YouTube.
2. Click on your profile icon in the top right corner of the page.
3. From the drop-down menu, select “ My channel”
4. In the next screen that appears, click on the ‘CUSTOMIZE CHANNEL’ button on the right side of the page.
5. On your channel page, you’ll see a blue button that says ‘Add channel art’. Click on this button to add a banner to your YouTube channel.
You’ll be given with several options to add an image as your channel banner. You can upload an image from your computer or choose from the photos you’ve saved on YouTube or from a gallery of photos provided by YouTube.
Make sure that the image is big enough. If you use an image smaller than 2048 x 1152 pixels(minimum recommended YouTube banner size), YouTube will throw an error message that looks like this:
After choosing an image from one of the options, look at the preview of how the banner would look like on different devices.
If you’re not happy with how the image has been cropped by YouTube, you can manually adjust the crop by clicking on the ‘Adjust the crop’ button in the bottom left corner of the popup window.
Note that you can only adjust the crop and not crop the image itself, with the TV space above and below it. This means you won’t be able to set a corner of your image as your desktop crop.
Picmaker’s YouTube banner templates have been designed in such a way that the important stuff(text, logo, etc.) on the image are always visible regardless of the device they appear on.
6. Once you’re happy with how your banner appears on different devices, hit the “Select” button in the bottom left corner of the popup window to save the image as your YouTube channel’s banner.
Wondering how to change an existing banner on YouTube? Read on to learn how you could do that.
How to Change YouTube Channel Art
If you’d like to change your existing banner and use a different image instead, simply navigate to your YouTube channel and hover over your existing banner.
When you do this, you’d see a button(with a pencil icon on top of it) appear in the top right corner of the banner. Click on this button and select ‘Edit channel art’ from the dropdown menu.
You’ll then be taken to the same popup window that appeared when you clicked on the ‘Add channel art’ button in step 5. Pick the image of your choice and click on the ‘Select’ button to set the image as your YouTube channel’s banner.
How to Create a YouTube Banner with Picmaker
Trying to figure out how to make a banner for your YouTube channel?
If you’ve ever tried creating one, you know that most design tools out there are clunky and difficult to use. You need to spend hours learning the software and navigating through a maze of features you’ll never use.
If you’re looking to create an attention-grabbing banner on your own, Picmaker is what you need.
Picmaker is a free online design tool specifically built for creating YouTube graphics. This narrow focus combined with its drag-and-drop functionality helps Picmaker eliminate the learning curve you’ve come to expect from other graphic design tools.
The best part, Picmaker has a vast collection of professionally designed, easily customizable YouTube banner templates that you can use to create eye-catching YouTube banners in seconds.
To get you started, we’d be using a pre-made template as our foundation to create a YouTube banner in seconds.
First, sign up for a free Picmaker account (Picmaker is absolutely free).
In the next screen that appears, click on the “YOUTUBE CHANNEL ART” button to create your own YouTube banner.
Once you’re in the app’s dashboard, you’ll see that the ‘Prebuilt’ tab in the main menu is already open. The “Prebuilt” tab in the main menu has a wide collection of pre-made YouTube banner templates to get you going in seconds.
The pre-builts have been categorized to help you find the desired template fast. Choose a category by clicking on the ‘All Prebuilts’ dropdown and select a template that speaks to you.
The chosen template is entirely customizable, from its background, text, to the graphics and placement of design elements.
The image is automatically set to the ideal YouTube banner size: 2560 x 1440 pixels; or automatically set to the ideal size of a YouTube thumbnail, if you happen to be creating a YouTube thumbnail using Picmaker. But, if you wish to set custom dimensions, simply click on the gear icon in the top left corner of the dashboard.
Once you’re done customizing the template, click on the ‘Preview’ button in the top-right corner to get a preview of how the banner would look like on different devices.
Finally, click on the ‘Download’ button in the top-right corner to download the banner image onto your computer.
Free YouTube Banner Templates
Dread staring at a blank screen? Finding it hard to create a professional-looking YouTube banner image from scratch?
Want pre-made YouTube banner templates that will earn you more attention?
Gain access to over 150+ professionally designed, easily customizable YouTube banner templates by signing up to Picmaker today!
All the templates have been set to the ideal YouTube banner size and carefully crafted by our team of in-house designers.