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YouTube could soon let you better customize your video playlists (APK teardown)

Users have been unable to upload their own custom thumbnails for video playlists, but could change soon.

Published onJune 29, 2024

YouTube on smartphone stock photo 10
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
  • Thumbnails of user-created playlists on YouTube are usually set by the first video in the playlist. The service lets users change it to any other video in the playlist.
  • YouTube could soon let you customize the thumbnail of user created playlists by uploading your own thumbnail image.

Love it or hate it, YouTube has very little competition. While the majority of users are satisfied with YouTube, there’s definitely a lot of room for the service to improve. For instance, while Google lets you upload your custom thumbnail for your video uploads, it doesn’t give you that same freedom when you create your own playlist. Thankfully, it seems this behavior could change in the future, as Google seems to be working on letting you upload a custom thumbnail for your video playlists.

An APK teardown helps predict features that may arrive on a service in the future based on work-in-progress code. However, it is possible that such predicted features may not make it to a public release.

The latest YouTube for Android v19.26.33 beta includes code that allows you to upload a cover for your video playlists. There is a new activity in the app that clearly references a custom thumbnail for a playlist.

<activity android:configChanges="keyboardHidden|orientation|screenSize" android:exported="false" android:name="" android:screenOrientation="portrait" android:windowSoftInputMode="adjustPan|stateHidden"/>his is some properly formatted code. Swap to the text editor to see the HTML.

Further, several new strings have been added for “upload failure” messages for playlist covers.

YouTube custom playlist cover

YouTube currently doesn’t let you set a custom thumbnail for video playlists, neither on the web nor from its apps. The thumbnail for a playlist is usually set by the first video in the playlist, though Google lets you set it to another video within the playlist. However, you cannot customize the thumbnail outside of existing videos in the playlist, which can feel restrictive to some users who want to go all out with their personalized playlist.

It is not immediately clear if and when this thumbnail customization option for playlists will go live. We’ll keep you updated.

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