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How and why to add YouTube thumbnails
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The image you see before the you hit play on a video is the thumbnail. Together with the title, the thumbnail is really the only information a viewer has to go on as to whether they’ll like the video or not. If you let YouTube choose your thumbnail, chances are you’ll end up with something random at best and ugly or unrelated at worse.
To upload a thumbnail, first you need to enable the ability. YouTube doesn’t just let anyone do it. You have to either enable monetization (which is easy, but may not be what you, as a church want) or you have to verify your account.
I’d recommend you verify it. It’s pretty simple. You log into your account and click on “Video Manager” in the upper right hand corner. On the next page, click on “Channel Settings” and on that page, click “verify”. Now, you’ll have to request a 6-digit code via SMS or voice mail, but either way, once you put in your code, you’re good to go.
Now, under each video as you upload it, there will be a place to upload an image. I recommend you stick with the resolution of the video, but 720p is a good place to start. Just make sure it’s less than 2 megs and all will be well.
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