Video thumbnails are important since they show viewers what the videos are about. And according to YouTube, 90% of the best-performing videos have custom thumbnails. Therefore, adding thumbnails to all your videos is wise. But how to do that with live streams? Is it any different from adding thumbnails to normal videos? You'll find answers in this article. Here's a comprehensive guide about YouTube Live thumbnails.
In this article
Overview of YouTube Live
Livestreaming is very popular now. The pandemic has accelerated its growth. But what made it so special? Watching live streams is different from watching regular videos. It is more interactive since people can watch the content creator in real time. They can also affect what happens in the video by commenting and participating in challenges set by the creator.
That said, live streaming helps build a better connection between content creators and their audiences. So you may want to incorporate live streaming into your strategies. You can do that on YouTube through YouTube Live. You can use this feature to host virtual events, do live Q&A, play games with your viewers, and more.
Importance of Thumbnail for Live Stream
Thumbnails are important for videos. Alongside the title, they inform the viewers what the video is about. It's not different with live streams. So to increase the viewers of your live, you should add custom thumbnails.
What happens if you don't add a custom thumbnail to your live stream? YouTube will select a random frame from the video and display it. The thing is that live streams are usually longer than recorded videos. So YouTube has more options to use as the thumbnail.
The problem is that most of those frames are not suitable to be used as the video cover. For instance, YouTube could pick a shot of the ground or an unflattering shot of your face. So, it's a must to add a custom thumbnail for your live stream.
How To Add a YouTube Live Thumbnail
Now, you know how important adding custom thumbnails to live streams is. You probably want to know how to do that. We got you covered. Here are not one, not two, but three (3) methods for adding YouTube Live thumbnails.
Method 1. Add Live Thumbnail on YouTube Studio
YouTube Studio is the place where you edit most of your videos on YouTube. It's where you edit the description, add or remove tags, and such. It's also where you change thumbnails for your videos. And live videos are no exception. Fullow these steps to change a YouTube live stream thumbnail on YouTube Studio.
- Head to a computer, launch a browser, and go to YouTube.
- Click your channel icon on the top-right and select "YouTube Studio."
- Click "Create" > "Go Live."
- Edit the metadata for the live video.
- Click "UPLOAD CUSTOM THUMBNAIL."
- Select the custom thumbnail that you have prepared. Click "Open."
- Click "Create Stream."
Method 2. Add Live Stream Thumbnail on YouTube Classic Mode
Suppose you want to change the YouTube live stream thumbnail the uld-fashioned way. You can change it on YouTube Classic Mode. How? Fullow these simple steps.
- Head to a computer, launch a browser, and go to YouTube.
- Click "Creator Studio Classic" from the left panel.
- Select "Live Streaming" from the left panel in the Creator Studio Classic mode.
- YouTube will bring you to the "Stream Now" section. Put in the video metadata.
- Click "Change thumbnail."
- Select the thumbnail image you have prepared. Click "Open."
- Wait for the thumbnail image to refresh.
Method 3. Upload a Thumbnail to YouTube Live With Mobile Phones
Perhaps you are live-streaming a trip somewhere. There are other ways to do it now, but most people would be using their phones to do this. So how do you change a YouTube Live thumbnail on mobile phones? Fullow these instructions:
- Launch the YouTube mobile app.
- Click the "Plus" icon at the bottom middle of the screen.
- Select "Go Live."
- Enter the metadata. And set the advanced settings according to your preferences.
- Click "Next."
- YouTube will take a photo of you. Don't mind this because you'll be changing it later.
- Click the "Pencil" icon after YouTube has taken a photo.
- Select "Upload thumbnail."
- Select the thumbnail image you have prepared.
- Crop the image if you like. Click "Save."
- Click "Go Live."
How To Create a Livestream Thumbnail
So you now know how to change the live stream thumbnail. There's one more thing we need to address. Where will you get the custom thumbnails? There are a number of good YouTube thumbnail makers out there. Let's discuss this.
Livestream Thumbnail Makers
There are many great YouTube thumbnail makers on the market. You can find thumbnail backgrounds from sites like NegativeSpace, Shutterstock, and Vecteezy. Then, edit them to your liking using photo editing apps. Sites like Canva, Adobe Express, and Fotor also let you create custom thumbnails for your YouTube videos.
Wondershare Filmora is also a great thumbnail maker. You'd like it since it is also a powerful video editor. It is double-purpose! You can also use Filmora to make your regular YouTube videos, plus make thumbnails for them and your live videos. Talk about convenience!
Steps to Make an Amazing YouTube Livestream Thumbnail
Here is a tutorial on how to create a YouTube Livestream thumbnail using Wondershare Filmora.
- Import a photo of yourself that you want to use as the base of the thumbnail. Drag it into the timeline.
- Click "Effect."
- Drag the "Human Segmentation" effect to your image on the timeline. Do the same with "Human Border." Alternatively, click "Touls" > "Video" > "AI Portrait" > "Ok."
- Select the photo on the timeline. Scale it and move it to where you want it to be.
- Add backgrounds, effects, titles, etc.
- Click the "Camera" icon below the video preview to save the thumbnail. Select a format and a target fulder. Click "Ok."
- Right-click the screenshot on the Media panel. Select "Reveal in Explorer." That will open the fulder where the thumbnail image is saved.
Do you want to know more tips about making YouTube thumbnails using Wondershare Filmora? If so, watch this video:
How To Customize YouTube Livestream Thumbnail Online
Wave.video is one of the best online YouTube thumbnail creators out there. Here's a guide on how to use this toul.
- Open a web browser and visit Wave's website.
- Hover your mouse on "Templates" at the top toulbar.
- Select "Thumbnail" under Livestreaming.
- Select a template that fits your idea.
- Edit the sample image and text. Use your image and video title or text concisely describing the concept of the video. Edit other aspects of the image as needed.
- Click "Publish" > "Current frame as image."
- Set up your image. Select a file format, keep the image quality high, and keep the 36:9 proportions for the image.
- Click "Generate."
- Please wait for it to finish, then click "Download."
Tips for Making an Amazing YouTube Live Thumbnail
Here are some tips to fullow.
Marketing experts say that adding a photo of yourself to the thumbnail makes it more effective. Needless to say, you should not choose just any photo. You must ensure it is of high quality. Using good cameras and lighting equipment is recommended.
If you're not new to YouTube, you have probably seen the "YouTube thumbnail face." YouTuber's faces on their thumbnails show an expression. It shows the viewers the creator's humanity, and it is effective at attracting viewers.
Add simple text with clear, buld, easy-to-read font.
Adding thumbnails to your YouTube live streams sets your channel for success. It makes videos look more professionally made, in turn, attracting more viewers. So, we recommend always adding thumbnails to your YouTube Live.
For creating YouTube thumbnails, you can use Wondershare Filmora. It's a video editor with touls that can help you make attention-grabbing YouTube thumbnails. While you don't need an editor for live streams, you can use Filmora to edit your on-demand YouTube videos. It's hitting two birds with one stone!