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How To Use VOD Thumbnails

Last Updated: Dec 15, 2016 10:34AM PST

How to use VOD Thumbnails

Learn how to use our VOD thumbnail features and find answers to the most frequently asked questions!

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Twitch Video on Demand (VOD) thumbnails provide viewers with a glimpse into what your videos and channel are all about. When done well, these tiny pictures can impact whether new or existing viewers click to watch a video - and can ultimately be a powerful tool to help grow an audience for the entire lifecycle of your content.

How To Add Thumbnails

How to select from the pre-saved thumbnail options:

  1.  Go to your Video Manager
  2. Click Edit on any past broadcast
  3. Select between four auto-generated thumbnails
  4. Edit the remaining details for your past broadcast
  5. Click Done

How to upload a custom thumbnail:

  1. Go to your Video Manager
  2. Click Edit on any past broadcast or highlight
  3. Click Choose File under the Upload Custom Thumbnail section
  4. Select your image
  5. Image must be 16:9 (minimum size 1280px x 720px)
  6. Please note that uploaded thumbnails are subject to our Terms of Service, Community Guidelines, and DMCA guidelines
  7. Click Done


Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q. Who has permission to edit thumbnails?
    • A. Broadcasters and their Editors.
  • Q. How are the pre-saved thumbnails randomly generated?
    • A. One thumbnail is grabbed every 5 minutes, and each has an equal probability of being stored as the four.
  • Q. Can I also select a thumbnail for my highlights?
    • A. Because highlights are created from a VOD, only one thumbnail is stored, which is the first frame of video. However, you can upload a custom thumbnail to highlights.
  • Q. Is thumbnail editing for VODs only? Will live broadcasts ever be able to have custom thumbnails?
    • A. Live broadcasts have live thumbnails. This works well for discovery and there are no plans to alter this.
  • Q. How was my thumbnail selected until now?
    • A. It used the same "random algorithm" as before, but only the first of the four was selected.
  • Q: How do I delete a custom thumbnail?
    • A: In the Editing view, you will see an option to Remove Thumbnail for the selected image. Click it to remove your existing custom thumbnail.
  • Q: What happens if I delete my custom thumbnail?
    • A: If you delete your custom thumbnail, the first auto-generated image for the video will be displayed by default.
  • Q: I want to upload an image for a past broadcast I made 2 years ago. But, when I go to edit, I do not see any options. What is going on?
    • A: Currently, thumbnail selection and thumbnail upload is only available for HLS-enabled videos. Not sure if a video is HLS? If the url contains /v/, then it’s an HLS VOD.
  • Q: What happens if I want to swap thumbnails?
    • A: If you decide to switch back to an auto-generated image for your video, your custom thumbnail will still be saved for later use. However, if you upload a second custom thumbnail, the original will be deleted.
  • Q: I made a VOD between X date and Y date. However, I cannot upload a custom thumbnail for it - what’s going on?
    • A: In November, there was an issue where VODs were stored as FLV rather than HLS. Custom thumbnails are only compatible with HLS-enabled videos. Twitch is currently in the process of converting those impacted VODs and you should be able to upload a custom thumbnail by early 2016.