what to do when facebook won't let you customize links

Getting Around the Pesky Facebook Link Preview Change

Hear ye, hear ye, Facebook announced disabling of link preview editing! Yes, as of July 18, 2017, Pages are no longer able to edit the meta data of links being posted. Don’t you feel like you’re witnessing history?

Huh? What does this Facebook change mean exactly?

It means: Facebook is no longer allowing Pages to edit website meta data for link previews attached to posts. This means Pages can no longer edit the thumbnail, title and description of the website they’re linking to in posts.

Why did Facebook implement disabling link preview edits?

Because spammers and click bait ruined it for us all. Often times, spammers and click bait peeps will post links, edit the preview so it looks like you’re going to be reading about X but really, after you click, you’re reading about Y. Facebook is cracking down on fake news, spam, etc. so this is one major step in the right direction, which is great for Facebook users, but shitty for legit Facebook marketers.

Will Facebook Ads be affected?

Yes, according to Facebook: For unpublished link Page post, we are gradually removing the following fields: Link Headline, Display Link, Description, and Picture. By July 26, 2017, you will still be able to create unpublished Page posts, but the link information will default to what we pull in when we scrape the website URL. 

How can I ensure my website preview doesn’t look like shit when shared to Facebook?

facebook open graph information

If you regularly post links to your Facebook Page, make sure you have Open Graph optimized on the page you’re linking to. For example, with blog posts in WordPress, here’s a quick check you can do before sharing your blog post to Facebook:

  • Is your default post title the one you want to appear on Facebook?
  • Do you have a featured image uploaded?
  • Are you good with the default excerpt that will be in the link preview, or have you remembered to create your own custom excerpt?

Using Facebook Sharing Debugger

facebook debugger instructiosn

This is a tool not many are aware of, but one of the most useful when it comes to previewing links from your page. The Debugger Tool will give you the confidence that your link preview won’t be ugly af.

The way I use it is if I’m posting a link to my Business Page and it’s all effed up and not feeding in the information I want, I go back to the website (usually a blog post), make edits and then try again. BUT sometimes, after your edits, changes won’t appear when you try to share the link again. Throwing the link into debugger “refreshes” the website on Facebook’s end and it will feed in the new changes I implemented on the website. Then I go back to my Page and post the fixed up link and marvel at my mad Debugger skills.

Your Turn

What do YOU think about the Facebook link preview change? Useful? Dumb? Leave a comment below. If you need help or want to chat social media for businesses, contact me. (Also, did you know I work with companies not based in Edmonton, Alberta?!)

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Pages are no longer able to edit the meta data of links being posted. Don't you feel like you're witnessing history?


2 thoughts on “Getting Around the Pesky Facebook Link Preview Change”

  1. Thanks for the detailed writeup, Beverley! I replaced most of my link posts with image posts, but my click-through rates were really taking a hit. Have you seen https://www.sharekit.io ? I’ve been using for the past few weeks, it basically brings back the ability to edit link previews. So far, it’s working well for me.

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