YouTube Test & Compare: Everything We Know (2024)

Article last updated on:
June 11, 2024

News (11 June 2024): A/B Testing is broadly available to even more users — people reported on Reddit.

If you still don’t have this feature, your best bet is a third-party software, like Thumbnail Test.


You’re probably curious about YouTube’s Test & Compare feature

But you’re not sure if (or when) you’re going to get it yourself. Join us, and let’s figure out what’s going on.

YouTube Test & Compare: Latest News (June 2024)

InfoDetailed Breakdown
Release Date11 June 2024 → Postponed for 5 years.
WhoLimited to “Eligible Creators”.
HowIn the “Thumbnails” section in YT Studio.
PurposeTo compare different versions of a video element to see which performs better.
Best BetThird-party tools. ThumbnailTest is available for A/B testing, offering additional features beyond what YouTube may provide.

1. It finally released

“When will YouTube release A/B Testing?”

Answer: YouTube released A/B Testing on the 11th of June, 2024 (under the name of “Test & Compare”).

  • This feature works just for Eligible Creators → it has been cancelled for +5 years.
  • Back in 2023, they did announce that they were in the early stages of testing the feature with a small group of creators.

See this video for more official info:

  • From the video: YouTube’s A/B Testing tool is now available.
  • (2023) Words from a YouTube Beta Tester: Everyone should have access to this in 2024.

Here’s what people predicted in December 2023 (6 months before the release):

But right now…

2. Only for Eligible Creators

Currently, YouTube’s Test & Compare feature works only for creators with Advanced Features. By the end of 2024, every channel should have it.

Eligible Creators include:

  1. Creators who have been invited to participate in the YouTube Partner Program beta testing program.
  2. Creators who have a high engagement rate on their videos.
  3. Creators who have a large subscriber base.

If interested: Sign up for the YouTube Partner Program beta testing program. Unfortunately, you have be a big YouTuber — and even then, eligibility is not guaranteed.

This brings us to…

3. How to A/B Test on YouTube

Answer: To run an A/B test on YouTube, go to YouTube Studio and select a video. In the thumbnails section, click “Test & Compare” and upload 3 images.

Here is the step-by-step list:

  1. Open a video in YouTube Studio
  2. Click “Test & Compare” in the thumbnails section
  3. Upload your thumbnails
  4. Click “DONE
Screenshot from YouTube's Test & Compare feature

4. What A/B Testing really is

YouTube A/B testing is a feature used to compare 3 versions of a YouTube Thumbnail to determine which version performs better.

Purpose: Helps creators optimize their content and make informed decisions about how to improve their videos’ engagement and viewership — for this, we suggest following YouTube’s Official Guide.

  • Data analysis will be conducted for both thumbnail.
  • The one that performs best will be set for the video.

Essentially: If “Thumbnail A” doesn’t work → Try “Thumbnail B”.

Pro Tip: With ThumbnailTest, you can have unlimited thumbnail checks.

Feel free to conduct A/B/C/D/E/[…]/Z tests with our tool.

Can you do A/B Testing on YouTube?

Answer: Yes, you can do A/B testing on YouTube — either with Test & Compare or Thumbnail Test.

In the meantime, you probably want to see how YouTube compares to Thumbnail Test.

Conclusion

This is all that we’ve got on YouTube A/B Testing so far.

Fear not, whenever new info comes out, we’ll be the first ones to update this guide.


Thank you for reading this,
Thumbnail Test

About the author

David is the head of the editing team at ThumbnailTest. With his help, the editorial team is able to provide you with the best free guides related to YouTube thumbnails and A/B testing.