Facebook Ends Custom Link Previews: What You Need to Know
In an effort to cut down on misinformation (or “fake news” as everyone is calling it), 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, including the headline (or title), description, and the image that accompanies a link.
Facebook claims this update will help weed out posts containing modified headlines and descriptions meant to trick people and spread misinformation.
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
For many brands and marketers, this change has big implications. For example, you will no longer be able to edit a link’s title, description, or image to customize how your content appears to your audiences on Facebook.
This update affects all methods of posting article links to Facebook — whether you do so manually or through third-party posting applications like GAIN, Buffer, Hootsuite, SproutSocial, etc. Every tool that uses any part of Facebook’s API for creating, posting, or scheduling content is affected.
How will this affect my Facebook pages connected to GAIN?
At GAIN, we are doing everything we can to comply with Facebook’s new rules by removing the ability to edit links on Facebook channels. GAIN will continue generating previews of posts as they should appear once live. Facebook has not provided an alternative solution yet, but we will be monitoring all updates and we will be the first to implement any alternative solution Facebook provides in the future.
Facebook also claims they are working hard to understand why editing link previews is important to brands and publishers in order to come up with the best solution for customizing content on the platform.
How else can I prepare for this change?
We strongly recommend looking into Facebook’s recommendations for using Open Graph meta tags on your website in order to maintain control over how your links will appear on Facebook. For more information on using Open Graph meta tags on your website, visit this page. On GAIN, you can also use the “Photo” post format to upload your preferred image to your post and paste any links in the post message field.
As Facebook rolls out these changes to link previews, be sure to follow GAIN on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn and bookmark this blog post. We’ll be sharing all of the latest updates and news as it happens – as well as any updates to the GAIN platform – so you can prepare and adjust your Facebook content strategy accordingly.
You can be sure that we will implement any alternative solution Facebook provides in the future. If you have any other questions about the Facebook update, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or chat with us through the app!