If you use the Vimeo API in your custom applications and/or are caching your video thumbnail’s URL, your thumbnails may no longer be appearing in the video player, particularly in cases where your thumbnail URLs were hard-coded in an application or site which therefore means the link structure will not be updated automatically.
To fix thumbnails for these use cases, you will need to initiate an API call to GET the thumbnail of a video from the Vimeo servers. We recommend implementing this regularly instead of caching the video thumbnail URLs. We also recommend batching these calls if possible, which will be more efficient.
You can find additional documentation on how to retrieve your thumbnail URLs via the Vimeo API on our development site Vimeo Developer: Get a specific video thumbnail.
Here is a step-by-step guide to retrieving your video thumbnail URLs:
- Log into your Vimeo account and go to https://developer.vimeo.com/
If you don’t have an app already, click New app.
- Give the app a name and description
- Choose No
- Select Create app.
On the app settings page, you have to create an access token to authenticate the calls to the API.
- Under Authentication > General, select Authenticated
- Under Scopes, select Private.
- Click Generate.
- Copy the token that is generated and save it into a text editor. You will need it in a later step.
In an API Client Application (e.g. Postman), make a “GET” request and enter the following URL:
- Make sure the token is included in the header of your GET request (https://developer.vimeo.com/api/authentication) as it is required for authentication. If using Postman, go to the Authorization tab, then select “Bearer token” in the Type dropdown, and paste your token into the token text field.
- Send the request.
The payload will include a lot of information about your videos. You can use additional parameters listed at Vimeo Developer: Get all the thumbnails of a video to specify the results you need.
For example: https://api.vimeo.com/me/videos?fields=uri,name,pictures&per_page=100&page=1
- This will include your video ID, video’s title, the thumbnail URL, and include the first 100 videos.
- The Thumbnail URL will be listed under “pictures” for each video.
- For example: https://api.vimeo.com/me/videos?fields=uri,name,pictures&per_page=100&page=1
Watch a walkthrough of the process in this video tutorial: Retrieving video thumbnail URLs using the Vimeo API.
💡Tip: You can also use the API to manage thumbnails for videos and events. To learn more, visit Vimeo Developer: Working with thumbnails.