Article last updated on:
February 10, 2024

Shortly, YouTube didn’t officially release A/B Testing yet. Your best bet is using a third-party software.

You’re probably here because you are:

It’s been 5 years of postponing. It’s time to settle this:

Join us, and we’ll tell you what’s going on.

YouTube A/B Testing: Latest News (Feb. 2024)

Here are the key takeaways of this guide:

InfoDetailed Breakdown
Release DateNo specific release date announced. Rumored for 2024.
WhoLimited to beta testers, including select YouTube Partner Program participants, high-engagement creators, and those with large subscriber bases.
HowSteps include selecting a video, changing its thumbnail, and then being prompted for A/B Testing.
PurposeTo compare different versions of a video element (like thumbnails) to see which performs better.
Official ToolNot available to all creators; currently in beta testing with a limited group.
Best BetThird-party tools. ThumbnailTest is available for A/B testing, offering additional features beyond what YouTube may provide.

This table shows you the current status, access limitations, and alternatives for YouTube’s A/B Testing feature, along with its intended use for content optimization.

1. No specific release date

When will YouTube release A/B Testing?

YouTube has not yet announced a specific release date for their A/B thumbnail testing feature.

However, they did announce in October 2023 that they were in the early stages of testing the feature with a small group of creators.

  • From the video: YouTube will make A/B Testing more broadly available to the public later in 2024.
  • Words from a YouTube Beta Tester: Everyone should have access to this in 2024.

So buckle up, as this feature is most likely coming this year:

But right now…

2. Only beta testers have access

Currently, A/B testing is only available to a select group of YouTube creators and beta testers.

This group includes:

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

YouTube is gradually expanding the availability of A/B testing to more creators. However, it is not yet available to all creators.

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 in beta

If you’ve got access to YouTube’s A/B Testing feature, click a video try changing its thumbnail. YouTube will invite you to try A/B Testing.

Here is the step-by-step list:

  1. Go to your YouTube Studio
  2. Select a video
  3. Click to change thumbnail → A/B Option is there
  4. Upload your thumbnails & Save

YouTube is gradually expanding the availability of A/B testing to more creators. However, it is not yet available to all creators.

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…

4. What A/B Testing really is

YouTube A/B testing, also known as YouTube split testing, is a technique used to compare two or more versions of a video or YouTube element 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 thumbnails, and 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/F/[…] tests with our tool.

Can you do A/B Testing on YouTube?

Yes, you can do A/B testing on YouTube, but YouTube alone doesn’t have such a feature. Third-party apps like ThumbnailTest can do it for you.

A/B Testing a great way to improve the performance of your videos and make them more appealing to your audience.

Issue: Right now you can’t use YouTube Studio tool, as there’s no official YT tool for this.

  • This feature isn’t public yet, only to a few beta testers.
  • Though you can use a third-party A/B testing tool, like ThumbnailTest.

Besides A/B testing, you get a lot of other features that are included in ThumbnailTest.

Why not check it out?

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,
ThumbnailTest

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.