Thumbnail Opinion



So attempt number about 5 (do you know the definition of insanity?) trying a YouTube with my buddy. This time it's non-commentary, the idea being that we can upload double the content, do simple 50/50 split if it ever makes money, record on our own times, fairly simple editing, etc. However, we're already butting heads over simple stuff like thumbnails. Before disbanding the channel already and just doing my own thing, I wanted some outside opinions.

My buddy keeps showing me people like MrBeast and how they research constantly how to make effective thumbnails. I was also told that thumbnails need to stand out. My buddy has Adobe and was able to provide me access, so I spent the other day playing around with Photoshop and making us some thumbnails instead of paying to outsource them (rather do all the work on a channel I run, IMO). So I made the first yellow one attached, just some scaling, flipping Mugman, and matching shadows. I was told by buddy too much white space, won't catch eyes, etc. Fair, so I made devil larger in 2nd yellow thumbnail, does pop a little bit better. Then I learned puppet transforming to rotate Devil's arm so it looks like he's drinking Cuphead with Mugman running away. We currently have that up for our All Bosses (Expert) with the background being red for power/difficulty. Green was towards end of process. I also feel if we have a few uploads of games, there should be some uniformity between the thumbnails (you're competing against other thumbnails, not your own, right?).

Anyway, then buddy uploads his Halo Infinite Full Game video and gives me a JPEG of Master Chief, basically as is on the non-zoomed Master Chief thumbnail attached. Says it's a cool pose. I disagreed saying it's ripped straight from Internet, and the background colors are dark and muddy like an early Xbox 360 game. I'm not a huge fan of my attempt with the zoomed in Master Chief and stick explosion background mostly because I had to do black outline around Master Chief that doesn't look crazy good. Regardless, I feel my attempts are popping.

Also, if you search Cuphead All Bosses on Youtube currently, all of the thumbnails are the same: either 8 vertical segments with different boss photos or like 4 vertical segments with a circle one in the middle. Pretty sure those are just being ripped from Internet too, so in theory my thumbnails would stand out. However, now I'm being told by buddy that my thumbnails, no offense, look like someone just learning Photoshop (which to be fair, but they don't look terrible to me).

I just don't know how my buddy can idolize MrBeast's thumbnails, which I should mention usually just pops his face on the left half of the thumbnail for celebrity recognition, and ended up using a green Lambo in at least two video thumbnails.

I guess last critique I've been getting from buddy is that the thumbnail should tell what the video is about. Successful non-comm channels like MKIce&Fire rely on text as most recent video was him playing old Red Dead 1 DLC with thumbnail being John Marston's back to camera and just a FULL GAME text on there, so obviously the text is utilized (granted don't go crazy with text in thumbnail because people don't like to read, but some is apparently crucial). I argued that thumbnail is important but a piece of the entire YouTube puzzle. Because honestly, what is the MrBeast last person to remove their hand from the car, wins the car thumbnail saying? It could be that, or it could be GTA5 video, or it could be something like "I Tried to Run Over My Friends w/ a Lambo." Hyperbole on my part, sure, but you see my point.

Anyway, please LMK what you think of my early attempts at making thumbnails and if it sounds like a solo non-comm adventure sounds more plausible.



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Yours is a gaming channel. Unless you or partner plan to show your faces as part of your brand, the Mr. Beast thumbnails are irrelevant. Your customized thumbnail has better contrast features and does pop a bit more than the other. Maybe I'm lazy, but I usually select a thumbnail after loading my video to youtube because it offers thumbnails that came from the actual video content.