YouTube for Android testing full-width thumbnails in search results

One persistent YouTube trend sees the apps and web client adopting larger video previews. The latest example of this is an A/B test that sees full-width YouTube thumbnails in search results.

Instead of thumbnails that take up half the screen’s width, YouTube search on Android is testing full-sized previews. This change matches how videos appear in the Home, new Explore, and Subscriptions tab.

The video title, channel name, view count, and upload dates appear underneath — instead of to the right — as a result. This new format does allow for channel avatars to appear. Sections are still partitioned with “Related to your search” and “For you” with carousels of additional queries still appearing in-between results.

One immediate downside to this design is how content density greatly suffers. In the examples below, you can see two full videos per page instead of six with the previous iteration. When searching, most users likely prefer viewing more results and quick browsing rather than getting a full preview at the expense of increased scrolling. That said, this representation of videos would be familiar and consistent.

This YouTube A/B test for larger video thumbnails is enabled server-side on an account-by-account basis and not widely rolled out.

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: