Facebook Ends Custom Link Preview Snippets

Facebook Ends Custom Link Preview Snippets

Facebook has quietly made a big change that could dramatically affect your posts. Facebook is getting rid of the ability to change the image in a link preview.

This announcement was made during their developers board in June and started rolling out at the end of July and was to be completed in mid-September.

If you like to have your content shared on Facebook, either by your own page or by other people, you need to make sure that it is set up for safe Facebook sharing.

As a social media marketer, I post on Facebook for many clients, and this change has the ability to dramatically affect our ability to post content for adult companies.

Why Stop Modifying Link Previews?

Though Mark Zuckerberg denied that fake news affected the outcome of the election, Facebook has clearly decided that fake news is a problem on the site. Removing the ability to modify link metadata, this includes headline, description, and image is a step to help eliminate fake news.

The metadata modify feature was being used as a way for people to create link content that was not representational of the actual link. Facebook is changing this feature with the goal of “limiting malicious misrepresentations of underlying link content.”

How This Affects You

Many people in the adult industry simply stay away from Facebook. It has not been a friendly platform for our industry and is often just an exercise in frustration as our pages get shut down.

That being said, it is the largest social network and everyone is always asking if they should be on Facebook, what they can get from it if they are, and what can they post?

Blogs have been the safest content for adult companies to post on Facebook. Many companies have created SFW blogs in order to be able to post on Facebook. Playboy is a good example of this.

They share news from their blog, which is covering a variety of topics from news about their company and playmates, to issues in the world, and pop culture. Even their ads are safe for work. They use the blog as a way to promote their digital content and have SFW upsells all over.

The blog is a great option; however if the preview metadata is not SFW, then you risk getting your content flagged by the Facebook censors.

For publishers that have done well posting links on Facebook this is also limiting some of their testing tools. Many people use metadata customization as a way to A/B test their posts for performance. You will no longer be able to do that. This also forces you to do A/B testing through the ad platform, which is not available for most people in adult.

What Are Your Options?

1. Link ownership

If your page was categorized as a media publisher you had the option to claim “link ownership” until Sept. 12. If you claimed link ownership you were able to edit your metadata. The ability to edit your metadata through link ownership is not necessarily permanent. Facebook is actively testing and may remove this feature as well.

2. Edit metadata

The easiest option is to edit your metadata. When you are writing your posts, make sure that your information is set up they way you want it to appear. You can test your content before sharing it by using the Facebook Sharing Debugger.

If you use WordPress you can easily edit your metadata with a plugin such as Yoast, as well as by editing your theme code.

If you like to have your content shared on Facebook, either by your own page or by other people, you need to make sure that it is set up for safe Facebook sharing. Most people have already lost the ability to edit their metadata; the final roll out of this change was Sept. 12.

Lauren MacEwen operates 7Veils.com, providing social media strategy and management for the adult entertainment industry. If you have any questions about how to prepare your content for Facebook or to discuss any aspect of your social marketing, contact Lauren MacEwen at lauren@7veils.com. Her Twitter handle is @7_veils.