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After rolling it out to Android creators back in December, YouTube is now giving Shorts creators on iOS the capacity to choose a frame from their clip as their thumbnail within the Shorts creation process.

As per YouTube:

Creators on iOS: We’re starting to roll out Shorts thumbnail selection to your devices. The ability to choose a frame from your Short to be used as the video’s thumbnail will be available to everyone in the coming weeks.”

To be clear, creators can already choose a thumbnail for their Shorts within YouTube Studio, but this new process makes it possible within the in-app upload flow, which could help to streamline your process.

To select a thumbnail frame for your Shorts:

  • Record or import a video with the Shorts camera then navigate to the final upload screen
  • Tap the pencil icon that is overlaid over the thumbnail of your video
  • Scrub along your video’s timeline to pick a thumbnail then hit ‘Done’
  • Upload your Short

YouTube says that it’s currently not possible to change the thumbnail after your Short has been uploaded, but it is looking to add this functionality in future.

Shorts has become a major focus for YouTube, with the app now facilitating 50 billion views of Shorts content every day. More than 1.5 billion YouTube users also consume short-form content in the app every month, and YouTube’s working to maximize opportunities for short-form creators, as it looks to lean into evolving content trends.

That could become even more pressing if TikTok is banned in the US. If that happens, many TikTok refugees will be left looking for a new home, and YouTube could well provide the best opportunities, and the most similar creation tools and options in-app.

As such, it makes sense for YouTube to continue refining and improving its Shorts tools, with this being another small update in its broader process.

The Shorts thumbnail update is rolling out to all creators on iOS from today.