Facebook no longer supports custom link previews after December 18th 2017


On December 18, 2017, Facebook withdrew support for custom link previews that are not from your verified domain. Prior to this, it was possible to customize all links, whether they were you own links or not.

In an effort to cut down on “fake news”, Facebook is making some big changes to its API that prevents all users (both personal pages and company pages) from modifying the preview of any link shared on the social network. This includes the headline, description, and the image that accompanies a link.

This guide will show you what you need to know and how to fix your Facebook link previews.

In order to customize link attachments from your domain, and have those changes appear on Facebook pages, you’ll need to verify your domain on Facebook first. Facebook has shared more detail on this change here.

Posting links from other people’s websites

It will no longer be possible to customize the image, title or description of a link preview in a Page post. When sharing links to other people’s websites, Facebook will pull link previews from the website’s metadata. If this metadata is not available, a complete link preview with an image may not be generated. This is very important to marketers. If you don’t have your Open Graph tags correct and someone shares a link from your website, it will not display properly.

Posting links from your own domains

Facebook has enabled a tool in the Facebook Business Manager to let businesses continue customizing Page post previews for links to their own domains. It’s called Domain Verification. Follow these steps to verify your domain(s) and associate your Facebook Page(s) to these domains, so that you can continue customizing your Page post link previews.

Allowing modification of link headlines and images when sharing posts has provided a potential vehicle for malicious users to misrepresent underlying link content, and hence Facebook is removing the capability.
– Facebook Marketing Team

Why Marketers Need To Know Open Graph

Social media is a major driver of website traffic. Not using Open Graph tags correctly can affect conversions and click-through rate dramatically.

Have you ever tried to share a link on Facebook and the thumbnail is missing, or a totally different picture showed up than expected? Using Open Graph tags correctly will prevent this from happening.

Adding Open Graph tags on your website won’t directly affect your website SEO, but it will influence the outcomes of your links on social media.

How To Use Facebook HTML Tags

Facebook HTML tags for link previews

This is how Moz.com used the meta properties to create website previews in the example above.

Meta property examples

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og:title
As you might guess, this is how you define your content’s title. It serves a similar purpose as the traditional meta title tag in your code. In fact, if Facebook doesn’t find the og:title tag on your page, it uses the meta title instead.

Example:

<meta property=”og:title” content=”Your eye-catching title here” />

og:url
This is how you set the canonical URL for the page you are sharing. What this means is that you define one page that all your shares will go to. It’s useful if you happen to have more than one URL for the same content (for example, using parameters). Important note: URL provided is not shown on Facebook newsfeed, only domain is visible.

Example:

<meta property=”og:url” content=”http://www.yourdomain.com” />

og:type
This is how you describe the kind of object you are sharing: blog post, video, picture, or whatever.

You can see the full list of types here.

This tag is important if your page has a “Like” button and represents a real-life object (like a book or a movie). It determines if your content will appear in a user’s interest section of her profile in the event she “Likes” it.

Example:

<meta property=”og:type” content=”website” />

og:description
This meta data descriptor is very similar to the meta description tag in HTML. This is where you describe your content, but instead of it showing on a search engine results page, it shows below the link title on Facebook.

Example:

<meta property=”og:description” content=”Your entertaining and descriptive copy here, if your meta description is good, use it.” />

og:image
This is the most interesting Open Graph tag for many marketers, because a picture always helps content stand out. This is how you ensure that a particular thumbnail will be shown when your page is shared. It can be very helpful for your conversion rates.

Example:

<meta property=”og:image” content=”http://www.yourdomain.com/image-name.jpg” />

 

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