Facebook Policy Update: Can’t Edit your Facebook Link Post Preview?

by | Jul 28, 2017 | Blog, Facebook, Social Media Tips

In July 2017 the world of social media was yet again thrown into general disarray as Facebook rolled out their latest policy change, which prevents users from editing their link post previews.

As part of their ongoing battle to stop the spread of fake news, Facebook will no longer allow users to edit the meta information for their link posts, so that titles, descriptions and eventually images will need to be drawn from the page itself, rather than updated on the Facebook platform.

The update prevents users from updating the title, description and limits options to customise the image on your Facebook link post.

The changes are being introduced gradually as the platform gathers feedback from users on the implementation of their new policy. At the time of writing this article it was on some pages possible to still customise the link post image, while on other pages the first image pulled from the URL automatically was the one to be featured in the post.

The plus icons were still available, allowing you to add multiple images to a single post, and customise the remaining shots on the carousel, which seems a little strange as only one image cannot be customised. While this does allow you to showcase multiple product images for example, it might make storytelling with this feature more difficult.

While we understand the importance of this update in the spreading of fake news, it can be easily circumvented with a few meta tags (or a WordPress plugin), and therefore will likely cause more issues for smaller, less internet savvy businesses than fake news factories. The sad truth is that the perpetrators of fake stories were already manipulating meta information on their own websites, and misleading click bait titles are unlikely to disappear as a result of the policy change.

Overall it’s not the end of the world, but does mean that you should start thinking about how your link posts will render on different social platforms when creating content on your website. Other platforms are yet to introduce the same changes, so optimising your content for Facebook shares onsite makes the most sense right now.

Facebook are introducing a tab in Page Publishing Tools for publishers to indicate link ownership and continue editing how their own links appear on Facebook.

Facebook have also said that they have released a new tab in the “Page Publishing Tools” which will allow publishers to declare ownership of content and, pending approval, continue to customise and overwrite link post content once verified. We imagine that this approval will be integrated with their fake news story reporting features, prompting refusal after complaints of fake stories.

They have also cited “spammy” content as grounds for this refusal, so it seems that the implications of this feature are already reaching beyond the limits of fake news. Currently the definitions of what will be allowed or denied are decidedly ambiguous. More clarity on this should emerge in the coming months.

In order to help you understand and plan for these changes we suggest that you consider the following:

Adding a plugin to your site to customise Facebook meta information and images.
For WordPress users you could try Facebook Thumb Fixer or one of the solutions in this article.

If you are flexible on your blog post banner size, or using a featured image, you could change your display height to be in line with Facebook’s link post proportions (1200px x 628px).

Ensure all pages and posts on your website have up to date titles and descriptions. You should be doing this for SEO purposes anyway, so why not kill two birds with one stone!

Review the Facebook Community Standards and Principles for Publishers to make sure your content will not damage your page reputation as a publisher.

At Rivuu we aim to provide feature rich publishing features, helping you to customise social media content directly from our platform. In the case of Facebook link posts, we are unfortunately at the mercy of their policy changes, and due to the changes in policy we will no longer be able to support the customisation of link posts. However, you will still be able to post link content just as is possible on the Facebook platform.

If you have any questions about Facebook’s latest update, and how it might affect your Rivuu account, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by emailing [email protected] for help.