In the name of aesthetics and click-through rates, Vimeo thumbnails are getting animated.

The video-sharing site that’s always had a keen eye towards the intersection of art and user-interface is currently testing the moving images on a small portion of its Staff Picked selections. Vimeo employee Jordan McGarry notes on the Vimeo blog it’s just an experiment for now, but could become something more permanent if “on a basic visceral level,” it’s something the eyeballs of Vimeo users enjoy and/or greatly increases the likelihood that videos with animated thumbnails will be noticed or watched.

Needless to say, it’s a simple, but innovative concept that looks fantastic on the page and certainly grabs a viewer’s attention. The only problem I foresee is if and when a large quantity of animated thumbnails are all visible on the same page and moving at once. Handfuls of shiny static images on any given site are already a cause for distraction from consuming content, just imagine if they were all moving. Plus, some individuals have reached their tolerance threshold for animated gifs.

Great-looking Vimeo logo by Greyscalegorilla.

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