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YouTube launches animated previews for all users

YouTube launched a roll-out of the new animated previews on the web-based service. The function is not yet active on mobile.

Since the end of June, YouTube has started rolling out volumes of animated previews in video thumbnails. Thumbnail animation is about GIF style, and shows in three seconds the main parts of the videos of some of the channels on the service.

The feature had been spotted on the first pages since February but, according to the company’s announcement, was recently launched for a ” growing percentage ” of users and pages.

From the end of June, the platform has allowed more and more users to see the new previews on the homepage, in search results, in the favorite channel tab, and in the trendy video tab. Animated previews are only shown on some browsers: like Chrome from version 32 and later, and Opera from version 19 onwards. At the time, we write functionality has not been added to mobile clients, where previews remain static.

For animated preview, each video must have a duration of at least 30 seconds, but it is also important that the content of the content is compatible with service requests. If a new video does not get the animated preview within two days of publishing it means it is not eligible to receive it, while no live streams and then uploaded to YouTube will benefit from the new animated preview. At least at the current development stage.

Taking care of every animated preview will not be a team of company technicians, but an artificial intelligence algorithm. The animations will be generated by the IA that will test the first 30 seconds of each video to capture the highlights and reproduce them in the animation. The algorithm will choose ” what they think are the most important frames to offer the best idea about video content, ” and will not require action by creators.

At the time of writing creators do not have any headline on what to show the preview, a move that looks like a sort of ” loss of control ” since today they can arbitrarily choose what to show in the thumbnail. However, the feature is part of an ” experiment “, so it may be subject to changes based on users and creators’ comments now that is available for a larger number of users.