Years after services like Daily Motion, YouTube is finally adding video previews directly from the thumbnails users see within their home and search feeds.
The feature will be rolled out gradually to users, with the PC/laptop users taking the lead before those on mobile and other platforms.
Here’s how it looks like in action:
As of now, if you roll your cursor over a video thumbnail it will be accompanied by 3-second preview, giving users an idea of the kind of content to expect when viewing it.
The previews can only be viewed in Chrome (versions 32 and above) and Opera (versions 19 and above) browsers on the web.
Support for mobile platforms will be added soon. However it hasn’t been announced yet.
Late to The Party?
The feature has been available for years for other video services like Daily Motion and recently Vimeo. Previously, users had to click on the video to check its validity, a limitation which was utilized masterfully by low-quality content creators to gain cheap views on the back of sensational headlines.
The content for previews is selected randomly from within the videos for now, but the press release is vague about whether content creators can expect it in the future. Only videos longer than 30 seconds in length are eligible for a preview in the thumbnail.
The process is AI generated, and there appear to be certain categories of videos which are not a part of it, including Live videos.
The feature has been reported by a few users in the wild on social media for past few weeks but it is likely being warmed up for prime time, now.
It may not be reality-shattering on the scale of company’s virtual reality and 360-degree videos, but it is a much needed feature for improving the overall experience on YouTube.