YouTube has launched some adjustments to its video player for embedded videos: HD preview images and logoless options.
Now, any new video uploaded to YouTube in a resolution of 480p or higher will have an HD preview image anywhere the player is embedded. This may not seem like that big a deal, being just the preview image as opposed to the video itself, but as YouTube indicates, it can actually make a huge difference in whether or not your video gets viewed.
"It may be hard to imagine, but YouTube’s video preview images represent to many the ultimate deciding factor as to whether or not to watch a video," the company says. "If a preview image looks interesting, it can mean the difference between someone pressing the play button. In addition, your site and the videos on it represent to you polished masterpieces. Yet, your videos’ preview images can appear lower in quality, and sometimes you don't want a logo in your player. So today we're rolling out new features for both situations: HD preview images and the option to remove the logo from your player."
Here are the before and after shots:
YouTube will automatically give HD preview images to older videos in the next few weeks as long as they meet the same resolution criteria.
If you want your video to play in a player without the YouTube logo branding, you can add the code ?modestbranding=1 to the end of the video URL in your embed code, and it will display without the logo in the control bar. A small "YouTube" label will still show up in the upper-right corner of a paused video when you hover over the player.