Last Updated on May 19, 2022 by Michael Brockbank
One of the perks you get for using Streamlabs Prime is the ability to create YouTube thumbnails for your gaming videos. And although there are some interesting layouts, how effective are they in terms of building your channel?
Today, I’m going to break down some of the more prominent pros and cons of using Streamlabs Prime for thumbnails.
While video thumbnails and titles are vastly important on YouTube, keep in mind that you need to create engaging content. If you’re not able to entertain or inform your audience, no amount of awesome graphics are going to help you gain subscribers.
How Well Does Streamlabs Prime Work for YouTube Thumbnails?
There’s no doubt that there are some nice layouts in Streamlabs Prime. However, I’m not totally convinced that they are the best when it comes to promoting your content.
However, they may be able to give you some ideas for creating unique images using the free alternatives I’ll mention in a moment.
Let’s start with why you may consider using Streamlabs Prime.
Pros of Using YouTube Thumbnails from Streamlabs
From a beginner’s perspective, there are a lot of wins for the thumbnails in Streamlabs Prime. Though, more experienced developers may not care for such nuances.
Still, I need to give credit where credit is due.
Quite a Selection of Images to Choose From
Let’s start with the selection of thumbnails that are available. At the time of this post, there are nearly 180 to choose from. They range from simple to more extravagant layouts.
This makes it easier to find images that work for your videos regardless of the gaming content you create.
Can Be Edited to Fit Your Needs
Each thumbnail comes with a variety of customization options to help you create something fitting for your video. From adding various effects to including an uploaded logo, Streamlabs gives you several options.
In fact, many thumbnails will come with several color variants in case you need to match the game or your specific brand.
For example, I use a red variant of the “Haze” theme for hardcore Minecraft videos.
A lot of Defaults are Quite Attractive
Streamlabs has a long list of visually appealing images you can use on YouTube. Then again, I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Not everyone is going to view attractive thumbnails the same way.
Still, there are a number of visually stunning graphics that may also provide you with some ideas about creating your own.
Constantly Growing List of Thumbnails
One of the highlights of Streamlabs is that they are constantly adding more to the thumbnail list. In fact, I remember when there were roughly 40 available.
I’m not sure how often they add new images, but so far, the library has grown quite a bit over the past year or two.
“Customizing” is Easy to Manage
The Customize screen to set up a YouTube thumbnail is relatively easy to master. While it might take a bit of getting used to, you can learn the platform quite quickly.
When it comes to adding text, you have access to a slew of fonts and can easily change the weight, size, and location.
Cons of Using YouTube Thumbnails from Streamlabs
Although there are some highlights that the average person might really like, Streamlabs Prime does have a few drawbacks when it comes to YouTube thumbnails.
Though, bear in mind that some of these might not be deal-breakers for you. They are just things that stand out to me as a creator.
Not Exactly a Unique Thumbnail
First, let’s talk about the elephant in the room. How many people are going to use the same thumbnail images as you when uploading videos to YouTube?
This is perhaps one of the biggest drawbacks to using stock imagery…you look less unique to a common audience.
Granted, there are several ways you can separate your image from someone else. You can use a different color scheme, font sizes, or add your own images on top of the thumbnail.
But at its core, it will still have a similar setup.
Limited On How the Images are Edited
While Streamlabs does give you quite a few methods to edit the thumbnail, it’s still somewhat limited compared to what you can do in Photoshop or even the free alternatives I’ll mention down below.
For instance, what if you want an ice blue overlay using the Haze thumbnail? Well, you’re out of luck. Unless you build the thumbnail from scratch, you are stuck with a few color schemes.
And if you’re building the thumbnail from scratch, you might as well use Canva, Adobe, or Visme.
Unable to Save Edits of the Thumbnails
One of the biggest pains for me is that Streamlabs Prime doesn’t save your progress of edited YouTube thumbnails. Outside of your background image, you’ll have to enter everything every time you need a new image.
For example, I use a specific font, weight, and size for text and then add my logo at the bottom left. Every time I load Streamlabs to make a new thumbnail, all of that has to be entered again.
This makes it exceptionally difficult if you’re as anal as I am and need uniform thumbnails across the channel. You’ll have to spend that same amount of time with each and every video.
There’s something to be said about saving templates with specific settings.
Reusing Thumbnails is a Pain!
What if you find a thumbnail you want to use more than once? You’ll have to write down the name of the thumbnail and then sift through all of them until you come across the one you want.
There is currently no search function on the YouTube thumbnail screen. Nor does Streamlabs show you the last thumbnail you created and with what template.
All you can do is search Streamlabs as a whole, which doesn’t include thumbnails as part of the results.
Free Alternatives to Streams You Can Use for YouTube Thumbnails
If you’re paying for Streamlabs Prime, you might as well see how much you can get out of it during your subscription. But what if you want more versatility in the thumbnails you want to use with videos?
Well, let’s take a look at some free alternatives you can start using right now.
I’ve been using Canva for a very long time for a myriad of purposes. From YouTube thumbnails to eBook covers, it’s one of the most versatile free tools for design on the Internet.
You can start with one of its many templates or create an image from scratch. Then, you have access to photos, videos, text, backgrounds, or you can upload your own.
Just keep in mind that stock photos are all over the Internet. It’s better to use your own as it will separate you from the competition. Never underestimate the value of an in-game screenshot.
The best part about Canva is that you can use it without creating an account. Though, you might want to if you plan on saving your thumbnails for future use.
Adobe Cloud Express is built similarly to Canva in that you can create a wide variety of specific images for YouTube. You can select a template from a massive list and then make changes according to your content.
There are currently over 1,030 templates available. Though, a large portion of those are for premium users, which will cost you some money.
However, you have access to a wide range of free tools to customize the layout and save it for future use.
Visme is another app that is similar to the above in its layout. After signing up for a free account, you can create a slew of images for various purposes, including YouTube Thumbnails.
You have access to free photos, various media file types, uploading your own files, basic graphics, and stats & figures.
One of the differences between Visme and Canva, though, is that you have to upgrade Visme to share on social media. Canva lets you do it for free. But this might not be an issue if you’re not trying to engage social users to watch your videos.
Though, I don’t know why you wouldn’t.
How Well Do Your Thumbnails and Titles Work on YouTube?
Thumbnails and titles are the most important part of creating a popular YouTube channel. Well, aside from the actual content itself. Still, these thumbnails and titles are what entice people to click in the first place.
Although Streamlabs Prime does have a few pros that may be worth checking out, it pales in comparison to other tools out there for making YouTube thumbnails.
Still, success on any platform comes down to personal preference. So, what say you? How does Streamlabs compare to other methods you’ve used for video images?
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