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How to Add YouTube Thumbnails

About this Tutorial

Add the image of a youtube thumbnail with only a YouTube url into your Google Sheets. Great use case for Substitute() or Split() functions. Nice way to add a little visual flair to your sheets.

Video Transcript

00:00 Hello. So I always wanna make your Google Sheets much more visually pleasing. You might wanna make your Google Sheets very visually pleasing if you're using at all links to YouTube videos.
00:11 Sometimes we can add actual thumbnails to your sheets using only the YouTube thumbnail. All right, so sorry, the YouTube URL of a video.
00:21 So how do we do this? Right here, you can see actually url to one of my own YouTube videos, youtube.com/better sheets.
00:29 You're watching this video here, or, or you might be watching this on Better Sheets dot go, either one. Go check out the YouTube channel, <laugh>, wherever you are.
00:39 And here we have an equals image. That is the simple thing is we're gonna use image formula. We're going to add the url, this I three.yt img.com vi slash and here is the ID of the u YouTube video.
00:58 And then we're gonna have HQ default. We also have max res default, but I'm gonna show you how to construct this sort of, sort of programmatically, sort of automatically.
01:09 We're going to hack through this. So this is the end result. We're gonna be able to enter a YouTube yo URL and get out of it or be able to display an image of the sh video.
01:23 So let's first get just the id. We only need the ID of the url. What we're gonna do is we're gonna take this URL and we're just gonna strip away this YouTube stuff.
01:33 So we're, we can do this in a number of ways. Let's use substitute for this. We're gonna search a one, we're gonna search for this YouTube, and we're gonna replace it with literally nothing, just two quotes.
01:48 And there we go. We get the entire ID alone. That's all we need. Now, this is gonna work only because we are using this entire HTPs, www.youtube.com watch V equals, there may be some other ways, some more mm sort of systemic ways, no matter what the format of this U URL might be, cuz there might be that U2 two be kind of formatting.
02:19 So we could do something like this as well. Let's put it down here. We can split, could split this text just by the equal sign.
02:30 Now what's gonna happen is we are going to get two things, right? We're gonna get the beginning of this url, and then we're going to get the id, we can wrap this with index.
02:44 And do we want the first row? No. Yeah, we want the first row and the second column number two here.
02:51 That's because it's a one one row by two column split, especially if we're just using this equal sign. There we go.
03:03 And let's see. There might be another way to do a url. Yeah, here. This is the other way to do a URL with this Be slash id.
03:11 If you're using like a lot of your own links. This is a shared URL a lot of times. So in this case we could, if we know it's gonna be this U2 B, we can do equals substitute text to search a three search for this and replace with just two quotes.
03:33 There we go. We got that as well. If we don't know which one it's going to be maybe we search for like this YouTube something like find search for maybe find will work.
03:53 Text to search here, starting at zero. Let's see what that shows up. It has value greater than one I think there.
04:03 So it gives us a number. If let's see if this didn't exist, let's see what we get. We would get an error and error.
04:20 So if it doesn't exist in the find here, we're gonna get an error. Cannot find this thing. So maybe we wrap this with if error or if, yeah, we can just do if error And if there's an error, then just do this other one.
04:43 Right? Take this and put this here. So if there's an error, we're just gonna get this. So we're gonna do that, that, that.
04:51 And if there's no error, we get this. So maybe we oh, we're gonna get a nine. So let's take all of this and instead of the nine instead of find, here we go.
05:13 If this is above zero mm, that's true, we're gonna use that substitute. If false, don't think we need anything because we have this if error Instead of B three.
05:44 There you go. So now no matter if it's one of these two sort of formats, it, this will work and we're just gonna get the id, great.
05:53 We get it. If there's an error on this YouTube, if it has this u2.be, we're sort of safe, right? And now that we have the id, we can grab an image of this.
06:05 But let's look at what this is. Let's delete this column first. Okay. This is the URL that we're gonna use and we're only gonna substitute this this ID in the middle.
06:18 What we could do, right? The, the sort of most basic thing we can do is equals and put this all in quotes.
06:25 Take out the ID in the middle and put in quotes to Ampersands and then put B one there. And we get a u r O.
06:38 What we might wanna do is actually put this entire formula inside of where this is B one. And we get this URL with the ID and everything.
06:52 And, and this URL is I three dot Y t img.com. I wonder if this shows up to anything can be reached.
06:59 It is a way for YouTube images to exist, and if the YouTube images exist, it'll show up there. A little hand wavy, I know, but I'm not <laugh> going that right now.
07:11 All we have to do is wrap this with image and that is the only thing we need to do. And then we have the image, we can make the roll a bit bigger.
07:23 And there we go. We have now, anytime we have a url, we can have the URL and we can have an image of the thumbnail.
07:34 But the thing is, with this thumbnail, we might want say max res default jpeg. This doesn't have those black bars.
07:41 I do not think this is high quality default max res. Yeah, there we go. So this one is the one without, in this particular case, without those black bars, we'll just do this.
07:56 Let's move my face a little. Gotta get in there. There we go. There we go. Now we have a really cool image to go along with any YouTube video that we might have in a Google sheet.
08:10 Again, this, let me explain maybe some of the use cases of this, right? If you're working with YouTube videos, if you're trying to present those, if you're doing any kind of market research and you're putting it all on a Google sheet and you're expecting people to look through this, a thumbnail might be able to tell more information than just copy and paste.
08:27 Just copy and paste in the URL and the title. You might wanna just also put a thumbnail, gives a little bit more information.
08:35 Great four influencer marketing agencies, right? This is something I did very often when I was building models for influencer marketing campaigns for a couple years.
08:45 We would put in thumbnails, we would put in your the images of channels. Those also have a really good simple url.
08:57 And it just makes the data sort of shine especially around influencer marketing campaigns. Whenever you're doing market research around a certain topic or something all of the thumbnails are relatively gonna be like similar and it's gonna give a sort of sheen and a branding to the data when truly and honestly all the time, we are living in a black and white and aerial world inside of Google Sheets.
09:23 So it helps add a little bit of the flavor of whatever you're researching here. On the other side of use cases in, if you're doing some data research, it's great, but also if you are trying to present, say a lead magnet, and you have, for instance, I've tried to put together sort of lists of my own videos that are free and available, but I also wanna add in other people's YouTube videos.
09:47 So I wanna have an authoritative list of say the best videos on some particular function. I wanna include other people's videos that I don't, didn't make, but are free and available for people on YouTube.
10:01 And adding this kind of thumbnail shows people which videos are separate than mine. And here's like another use case. If you are literally doing u YouTube research to make YouTube videos like I have in the past, and you're looking at 5, 10, 20 videos that are all similar and you're cap capturing all the URLs and saying, okay, I wanna make this particular kind of video, you can drop in this thumbnail, and then it can give you a very clear idea of what kind of thumbnail do I have to make that fits in with all of these.
10:33 That actually, or stands out. It could be one or the other. You might want to fit in, or you might want to stand out and be completely different, right?
10:40 Instead of a white background, you wanna have a green background instead of a face. You want to have the image of a thing.
10:45 Instead of say only the after shape, you want to have a before and after, right? Or you can see, oh, all of these types of videos have this particular type of iconography in them.
10:57 So having the visuals next to each other is perfect for this. This might be even great for like flashcards or some kind of like AB testing.
11:10 You are, maybe you are trying to find out, you know, without having to make thumbnails in the immediately you're like, what kind of thumbnail should I do?
11:19 You can throw into a Google Google sheet, these two videos, look at those two images, take a screenshot, and then ask people which one we need to click.
11:27 Right? Super simple, quick. And again, you could probably download the, you could probably download the thumbnail, put it in a canvas.
11:33 Sure. But if you just grab the u url, pop it in there, take a screenshot and you're done. Right? Couple steps less.
11:42 Some weird use cases for this. But I hope this was very helpful to you to see we're using, if ever we're using what else are we using?
11:51 We're using split at some points, fine, substitute some weird sort of maybe uses of this. And maybe you found out some really cool use case for these formulas.
12:00 Hopefully you did. Thanks for watching.