Transform YouTube Shorts With Custom Thumbnails on iOS, Android & Computer

Recently I polled my subscribers by asking them the question… “What type of custom thumbnail do you add to your Shorts video?

21% said, I don’t know how to add a custom shorts thumbnail, so in this video, I’m going to show you how to select a frame from your shorts video to use as a custom thumbnail whether you have a iPhone or and Android device.

Here’s how to do it….

Get My New Shorts Course: Mastering YouTube Shorts: The Complete Guide
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  • Tap the YouTube app,
  • tap the plus sign,
  • tap create a short, 
  • tap 15 to lengthen it to 60 seconds.
  • Tap the red button to record a short or tap add to add one from your camera roll.
  • Tap done.
  • Tap the check icon.
  • Now I can select any frame from my Short.
  • Tap done.
  • Caption the short (add title) 
  • Tap visibility to select public, unlisted, or private, or schedule it.
  • Tap upload short. Now it’s uploading my short. 
  • Tap library to see how the shorts thumbnail looks like.

You can also see how the thumbnail will appear on your channel pages recommendations on YouTube’s homepage, on videos listed in the  subscriptions tab and in YouTube search results.

The only place you won’t see any thumbnails is in the Shorts feed where your shorts videos play automatically as viewers swipe through it.

Here’s an important note from YouTube….

“It’s not currently possible to change the thumbnail after your Short has been uploaded, but we look forward to bringing this feature to you in the future.”

When I ask my subscribers, “what type of custom thumbnail do you add to your shorts video?”  19% said I upload a regular horizontal thumbnail.

But how can you upload a regular horizontal thumbnail from a computer when YouTube says, “for now you can’t change the thumbnail on your Short” 

Here’s the workaround to upload a regular horizontal thumbnail from your computer using the Free Chrome Extension VidIQ

  • Click on the content tab in YouTube studio,
  • Select the shorts video you want to add a custom thumbnail to. 
  • Click on details. It’s currently showing a vertical thumbnail that YouTube has automatically selected. It says, “for now, you can’t change the thumbnail on your short”, but if you have the free Chrome extension VidIQ installed, you’ll see this blue icon called “Create Thumbnail”.
  • Click “Create Thumbnail”
  • Click drop file here, or browse for files. Select a horizontal thumbnail from your computer.
  • Click open,
  • Click next,
  • Click next again, it says, this is what your thumbnail will look like around the web on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.
  • Click save thumbnail. 
  • Click close.

Now, if I reload the page, it shows the horizontal thumbnail that I created instead of the vertical thumbnail.

Keep in mind a regular horizontal thumbnail won’t appear in YouTube search or in the shorts feed, but it will appear in Google search.

Another way to upload a custom thumbnail for a YouTube short is to use the TubeBuddy Chrome extension.

How to upload a custom horizontal thumbnail for a YouTube Short using TubeBuddy

  • Click on a TubeBuddy icon. It says TubeBuddy tools.
  • Click on thumbnail generator. 
  • Click on image or existing thumbnail.
  • Click on the banner that says, “click To upload your own image”
  • Select your image.
  • Click open
  • Select your thumbnail,
  • Click continue.
  • Click continue.  It will  show all the competing thumbnails on YouTube.
  • Click save and publish. “Are you sure you want to publish the thumbnail?”
  • Click okay, and here’s my thumbnail.

Just keep in mind you, you can only upload a custom horizontal thumbnail for your Short using your computer.

If you want to know how to make a YouTube Short to go viral, watch this video on how to use TubeBuddy’s Suggested Shorts Tool to find the most engaging parts of a long form video.

Get My New Shorts Course: Mastering YouTube Shorts: The Complete Guide
Click here for more info

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