Starting July 18 (tomorrow), a Facebook link preview update will enforce a new rule preventing customization of link metadata included in Facebook posts.
What does it mean, exactly?
This means it will no longer be possible to edit the meta title, description & image associated with a link in a Facebook post.
Posts including custom metadata will automatically revert back to the original metadata associated with the shared URL when published on Facebook.
For instance, if you share Loomly’s homepage and edit your link preview as follows:
Your post will automatically revert back to:
Which posts will get impacted by this change?
This Facebook link preview update will impact:
- All new posts published starting tomorrow.
- All posts scheduled before tomorrow for a date later than tomorrow (including tomorrow).
However, posts that have already been published won’t be retro-actively affected by this change.
Why is Facebook implementing this Facebook link preview update?
As Matthew Robertson explains on the official Facebook for Developers blog:
By removing the ability to customize link metadata (i.e. headline, description, image) from all link sharing entry points on Facebook, we are eliminating a channel that has been abused to post false news.
While potentially surprising and not particularly practical for most of us who rely on editing link preview metadata to control how our posts appear on Facebook, this is a step in the direction of slowing down — if not stopping — the spread of false / deceiving information, or as we all like to call it: fake news.
As a community of high-quality, value-added, true content creators, there is no doubt we will benefit from this update on the long run.
What to do about this change?
Although we won’t be able to customize how link previews appear on Facebook when publishing posts to Facebook anymore, there are actually three things we can do:
- Take a step back and understand why this is happening and what’s in it for us in the long term (see above).
- Keep in mind that we can still optimize how our own links — i.e. links to content pieces we publish on our platforms, such as blogs & websites — appear on Facebook, using Open Graph meta tags.
- Wait for Facebook’s upcoming solutions to the new challenges introduced by this update:
We’re working to find other solutions that allow publishers to share customized content on our platform, and we will have more to share in the coming weeks. […] Our goal is to support publisher workflows and app functionality, while limiting malicious misrepresentations of underlying link content. As content customization evolves we continue to work closely with our partners to support the best tools for sharing links on Facebook.
We hope our explanation of this Facebook link preview update makes sense and clarifies things as much possible.
As always, feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, should you have any question or suggestion about this — or anything else.
Thank you for everything,
The Loomly Team.