YouTube creators are up in arms over new auto-generated thumbnails, accusing the video streaming site of bulldozing over the custom graphics many rely on to make their clips more clickable.
Rather than the custom thumbnails that YouTube allows creators to upload and use as the graphic in search results and channels, some found their videos were instead represented by a screenshot from the footage itself.
Pressed about the swap on Twitter, YouTube confirmed that it was indeed intentional rather than a thumbnail glitch.
“We are running a small experiment where 0.3% of viewers will see an auto-generated thumbnail, instead of your custom thumbnail,” YouTube told one confused creator.
“We are not removing the ability to create your custom thumbnail, but we hope to gain insights on auto-generated thumbnails for the future.”
The experiment has been met with frustration among many YouTubers, who have reacted furiously about what they typically see as heavy-handedness over how their content is promoted.