What are thumbnails?
A thumbnail can be defined as a smaller version of an image that is much larger in size. Thumbnails are primarily used in the conservation of screen space as well as to help users view several images all at once. On the internet, thumbnails are commonly utilized to help the viewer of a web page to see a particular image without the need of having to download a full sized image unless it is something of interest to them. YouTube thumbnails can adequately be described as book covers for online videos hosted on YouTube.
Do You Need Them?
A good YouTube thumbnail is important in a number of ways as outlined below:
i. A good YouTube thumbnail is what can make the difference between people just clicking in your video and consequently scrolling past or actually viewing it.
ii. A good YouTube thumbnail is what helps viewers to know and try to figure out what a video is all about.
iii. A good YouTube thumbnail is what will make a video standout from the rest even with the current stiff competition.
YouTube thumbnails are therefore quite important but they have to be clear and really good to say the least.
About YouTube Thumbnails
Since time immemorial, YouTube thumbnails have been part and parcel of the YouTube channel. People are allowed to use thumbnails of different sizes on their YouTube channel. The YouTube standard is to select a thumbnail automatically from an uploaded video while at the same time providing the uploader with 3 images that were automatically generated.
The three thumbnails are derived from the uploaded video and may or may not be what the person who uploaded the video wants. This is what created the need for people to make generate their custom thumbnails.
The following are some tips to generate custom thumbnails that are good:
• Try to take photographs that are still.
• Diligently follow the guidance YouTube has provided with regard to format and size i.e. resolution and aspect ratio.
• Strive to have a person in the photograph that you intend to use.
• Utilize an image with a close up face of a person and it should be making eye contact with the person taking the photographer.
• Bright images should be used for this purpose.
• A branding element should be used.
Where to Find Thumbnails
There are instances when one requires to show the thumbnail for a YouTube video and consequently play it in a separate popup window or a new page. It is possible to show the thumbnail for the particular video. The reason for this is that YouTube enables you to show the thumbnail for the video by the simple use of its video code.
The thumbnails are usually of different sizes. In order to show a thumbnail, the url http://img.youtube.com/vi/<insert-youtube-video-id-here</o.jpg can be used. The video code is what is used to replace insert-youtube-video-id-here
That is the place to find thumbnails for YouTube videos.
How to Download Them
The following is an effective yet convoluted way to download YouTube thumbnails, it does not require API, PHP or other tricks people use. The only requirement is your browser.
Step 1: Start by opening the YouTube video without playing the clip.
Step 2: Proceed to view the page source This is normally activated by pressing Ctrl + U in a standard web browser. This shortcut is the ideal way of doing it because some browsers such as Firefox have been striving to keep hidden the would be obscure options of viewing the page source.
The page source you want to view is the code that which the browser engine actually parses as well as interprets so as to provide you with the images and videos you desire.
Step 3: The search field should be activated once you are on the page source. This action is executed using Ctrl + F. Proceed to type og.image in the search box that appears.
A meta property referred to as og.image and the content path should now be visible. It should be noted that it is the image’s actual URL. This can then be downloaded and saved appropriately.
The beauty of this method is that one that does not need to acquire a thumbnail downloader for the process to be successful, yourself and a web browser should suffice.
The above technique is a simple way by which to download YouTube thumbnails without subjecting yourself to unnecessary frustration. It is also proof enough that you do not always require a thumbnail downloader to get the job done.