YouTube’s latest feature takes its cue from the internet porn industry

Don’t you just hate it when the thumbnail image for a YouTube clip isn’t an accurate representation of the video it’s supposed to represent?

Well now the company is seeking to rectify that by adding GIF-like moving previews to thumbnails, similar to the previews used by certain ahem… artistic websites… to entice users to click.

All you need to do is roll your cursor over the thumbnail in order to see 3 seconds of automatically selected video.

YouTube says (via The Verge) it is selecting a clip from the first half off the video that “it believes gives the best idea of what the video is about.”

Yes, we’re pretty sure that’s the tactic PornHub and co. are deploying too.

YouTube

YouTube says you’ll need Chrome 32 and up or Opera v.19 and up to see the new previews which will appear on the home page, in search results and within the watch page, subscriptions tab and the trending tab.

The previews aren’t yet available on mobile devices and creators aren’t able to choose the clip. Surely that’ll be the next step.

The feature has been in testing since January, so you may have seen it before, but it’s now rolling out to all users.

Are there any other features from alternate video sites you’d like to see YouTube incorporate? Share your thoughts in the comments below.