Whether you’re making feature-length masterpieces or short product videos, you want your content to look good and snag eyeballs, wherever they live on the web. We think your videos deserve the best — which is why we’re excited to unveil a new pair of optimizations designed to give your content a boost.

Thanks to a set of advanced video image technologies (fancy!) we’re providing all Vimeo customers with easy access to optimized thumbnails for their videos, designed to help boost your views and improve your search rank. Oh, and you don’t have to lift a finger to experience the benefits. Let’s get into the tech-y specifics.

Find better thumbnails, effortlessly

We try not to judge a book by its cover, but the truth is, your video’s thumbnail image is the first thing any prospective viewer sees before they click that precious play button.

To put it plainly, better thumbnails lead to more clicks and views for video creators — so we’re releasing a new, smarter machine learning algorithm (based on deep neural networks!) to make our automatic thumbnail selection even better.

You’re still free to set or upload thumbnails to your heart’s content, but we should probably mention: after generating a few million for videos across our site, we saw a 3.7% increase in view rates on videos with the algorithmically determined thumbnail, when compared to user-chosen imagery.

Plus, allowing our algorithm to choose your next thumbnail saves you time and effort. Just let machine learning take the wheel, and rest assured knowing your video is optimized to snag more views than ever before.

Improve your search ranking

If that wasn’t cool enough, we’re also releasing AVIF, a new image format technology that reduces the file size of your video thumbnail by 30-50%. AVIF image compression technology enables web pages with your video thumbnails to load faster, thereby improving your video’s SEO ranking and web page performance.

The best part? You don’t have to do anything to see this change working, no matter where your video lives on the web.

How does faster load time affect search results?

For Google, and many other search engines, the user experience is #1. That means that search engines prefer to show users sites that load quickly and provide a good visitor experience. 

While there are a ton of contributing factors that affect your search ranking, the power of page speed is real. The faster your page, the happier your people, the higher you rank in results!

One last thing…

Because we’re active members of the Alliance for Open Media (the organization that released AVIF specifications), we’re able to contribute in developing these new technologies alongside other leading tech players, and as a result, be among the first to adopt them over other platforms.

These next generation technologies, such as AV1 and Opus, and now AVIF, are used by leading tech players like Netflix, YouTube, Amazon, and many more, which means we’re in pretty good company. 

Upload your video now

AVIF copy contribution by Vittorio Giovara.