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How Facebook’s Latest Link Preview Editing Rules Impact Shared Information

How Facebook’s Latest Link Preview Editing Rules Impact Shared Information

31 Jul, 2017

In an attempt to minimise the spread of false news and “click bait” articles on Facebook, this month the platform will be removing the ability to alter shared link headlines, descriptions and images from all link sharing entry points on Facebook. Unless you have access to edit the meta tag descriptions of the website you are sharing information from, you will not be able to edit the default images and information Facebook pulls through from a website you do not own.

Before now, all Facebook pages had the ability to edit the default headline, image and link description text in a link preview prior to posting. This was a customisable publishing tool to ensure the best images and descriptions were used in a link if the website did not have ideal meta descriptions or images to suit the platforms’ recommended image sizes. It is widely reported however, that the feature had been abused by fake news distributors to “bait-and-switch” users into visiting pages they weren’t expecting. Another example of this misuse, were pages using this feature to make it look like legitimate news publishers were posting inflammatory or false headlines. 

With the exception of a limited number of original Facebook publishers, the removal of this feature started rolling out in mid July. 

Publishing Changes We Can Expect:

Graph API:  All API versions will no longer support this capability, and Page admins will no longer be able to make these edits in Page composer.

Ads Interfaces:  For unpublished link Page posts, Facebook is gradually removing the following fields: Link Headline, Display Link, Description, and Picture. You will still be able to create unpublished Page posts, but the link information will default to what Facebook pull in when they scrape the website URL for what looks like the best defaults.

Video Link Posts:  Facebook is also removing the ability from all Pages to create organic video link posts due to integrity risks and abuse of the format. In early 2017, a test was run to link posts with a video attachment, along with an optional call-to-action. Because posts from this test did not meet News Feed Integrity Standards, video link posts have gradually been removed from all Pages from July 26, 2017. Video Link Page Posts can still be created through Ads Creation Interfaces (Ads Manager and Power Editor) and Ads API for sponsored posts.
What Are The Options Now?

For a select few, a new tab in Page Publishing Tools for ‘Link Ownership’ will let those exempted stipulate a website domain address that they own, and be authorised by Facebook to modify the previews of links shared from the specified domain. Pages that want an exemption must have their link ownership approved by September 12, 2017, when the full removal of unauthorised preview editing will be rolled out. Facebook writes that “We’re first rolling this (Link Ownership) feature out to media publishers, including news, sports and entertainment Pages, because we’ve found that many of these Page types modify links to their own articles at scale.” 

If you are not one of the select few with this option made available to you, webmasters for your own website will need to ensure the Open Graph tags on their site and articles are configured with the correct information. You can then test the link with the Open Graph Debugger to configure the default previews for your content. Webmasters can find out more about Open Graph tags here: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/sharing/webmasters 

If you do not have access to a website’s meta descriptions, you will not be able to customise the preview of the shared link you post on your page.

For more information on this update, visit : https://www.facebook.com/business/help/247886969033572?locale=en_US

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