YouTube may be piloting a new feature to make thumbnails work like GIFs.
The feature was first spotted by Josh Dickey, a writer for Mashable, who noticed while browsing the site that when he hovered his mouse pointer over thumbnails in the “Up Next” category, there was a short loop of part of the video.
Currently, the feature only appears for a small group of select users on desktop devices. There has been no official announcement on whether this will be rolled out for all users, with YouTube releasing the following statement when asked: “With more videos coming to YouTube every minute, we’re always experimenting with ways to help people more easily find, watch, and share the videos that matter most to them. We’ll consider rolling features out more broadly based on feedback on these experiments.”
In addition to desktop updates, YouTube is also reportedly experimenting with new features in their apps for mobile devices, including a polling feature for live broadcasts, picture-in-picture support on Android TV, and an “AutoOffline” feature.
YouTube have also announced the removal of unskippable 30-second advertisements. Alternatively, check out the guest list so far for Summer in the City 2017.