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TikTok Rolls Out New Video-scrubbing Thumbnails

Updated on January 20, 2023
2 minute read

Thumbnails have entered the chat 🌟

Published January 20, 2023

ICYMI: TikTok's quietly added a new feature for navigating its long-form content.

With video-scrubbing thumbnails, it makes it easier to find specific parts in a video — especially when you fast-forward or rewind.

Here’s what we know about TikTok’s video-scrubbing thumbnails so far — plus, why YouTube may want to watch its back.

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How Do TikTok’s Video-scrubbing Thumbnails Work?

First shared by social media connoisseur, Matt Navarra, TikTok’s soft launch of its video-scrubbing thumbnails have not gone unnoticed:

Initially, users would have to blindly rewind or fast-forward long-form TikTok content — making it difficult to find a specific section in a video:

But with video-scrubbing thumbnails, you're now able to see exactly where you’re fast-forwarding or rewinding to.

This is especially helpful for tutorials, recipes, or workout videos:

NOTE: TikTok’s video-scrubbing thumbnails feature is being rolled out to select users, so sit tight if you don’t have it yet.

Want to schedule your TikTok content in advance so you can save time? Later's scheduling tools have got you covered:

Why Did TikTok Launch Video-scrubbing Thumbnails?

TikTok recently surpassed Netflix as the second-most popular video service for American users under the age of 35 — pointing to its strength as a video streaming platform.

And it's clear that TikTok is now coming for the number one spot: YouTube.

Last year YouTube provided users with a display to skip through videos, watch content on a loop, and determine which video sections are replayed the most. 

But TikTok's been making its own changes too.

From gradually upping its video limits to testing horizontal full-screen mode with select users, TikTok hopes to "unleash even more creative possibilities for our creators around the world."

And now with the launch of TikTok’s video-scrubbing thumbnails, YouTube should take note.

We predict this is only the beginning of what's shaping up to be an interesting 2023 for both platforms. Who will reign?

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