How To Show: YouTube Thumbnails On X (Twitter)

Article last updated on:
April 20, 2024

In this guide, we’re teaching you how to:

  • Show your YouTube video’s thumbnail on Twitter (X)
  • Preview videos on Twitter without linking to YouTube
  • Share & Embed your videos with their thumbnails

How to Get a YouTube Thumbnail on X/Twitter

To get a YouTube thumbnail on X/Twitter, simply paste the URL into your post. Twitter automatically displays the thumbnail.

Alternatively, download the thumbnail and upload it to your post.

Method 1: Paste a YouTube Link

Highlighting whether to click to post a YouTube URL on X (Twitter)
  1. Go to YouTube → Copy a video’s link
  2. Go to X → Click Post
  3. Paste the link (you’ll now see the thumbnail)
  4. Click Post

Your post will go live with the thumbnail + a play button to preview your YouTube video on X.

Method 2: Upload the Thumbnail

Uploading a YouTube Thumbnail from Recently Downloaded on X (Twitter)
  1. Copy your YouTube video’s link
  2. Open X → Click “Post
  3. Upload your thumbnail image in the post
  4. Write your caption + Paste the link
  5. Hit “Post

It’s important to add your video’s link. Otherwise, that’s just the thumbnail image.


1. Why doesn’t Twitter show YouTube videos?

Twitter (X) actually does show YouTube videos! When you share a YouTube link in a tweet, it typically gets embedded.

Reasons why you can’t see embedded videos:

  1. Link formatting: Twitter relies on the link itself to recognize it as a YouTube video. Make sure you’re copying the entire URL from YouTube and not just a shortened version.
  2. Third-party apps: If you’re using a third-party app to access Twitter, it might not always support embedded content. Try sharing the link directly from the official Twitter app or website.

If you’re still having trouble, you can always just copy and paste the YouTube link itself into your tweet — like we’ve shown above in the guide.

2. Can a YouTube video automatically play on Twitter?

Unfortunately, no — Twitter (X) itself doesn’t currently offer a way to automatically play YouTube videos within the platform. When you share a YouTube link in a tweet, it appears as a thumbnail that users have to click to play on YouTube.

Auto-play only works for videos directly uploaded on Twitter.

Hopefully, this also answered the question: “How do I share a YouTube video with preview on Twitter?”.

3. Is it OK to share YouTube videos on Twitter?

Yes, sharing YouTube videos on Twitter is perfectly OK and in fact encouraged! It’s a great way to promote your content and reach a wider audience.

A few benefits:

  1. Increased exposure: Twitter has a massive user base, so sharing your videos there can get them seen by many potential viewers who might not have found them otherwise.
  2. Drives traffic to YouTube: When people click the link in your tweet, they’ll be taken directly to your YouTube channel, increasing your views and potentially leading to more subscribers.
  3. Sparks conversation: You can use Twitter to discuss the video’s content, ask questions, and engage with viewers, which can further promote your video and channel.

Thank you for reading this,

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.