We found this statement posted when we logged into Hootsuite this morning.
“As of July 17 at 11:59pm PST, Facebook will deprecate the ability to customise link previews, in an effort to reduce misrepresentation of link content. The changes will apply in Facebook natively, as well as to Facebook’s API integration partners, including Hootsuite.
It will no longer be possible to customise the image, title or description of a link preview in Facebook profile or group posts. Pages will not be affected by this change until a later date.”
What does this Facebook update mean for your site?
Facebook pulls link previews from website metadata. In plain terms this means that the preview Facebook uses, including images and text, will be directly generated from information you have on your page. Its always been important to ensure that web pages have the correct page title and description added and that a featured image is set for the page. This is really easy to do in WordPress sites but so many sites don’t have the data added even for Google searches.
As well as the options to set these basic elements in WordPress sites using up to date versions of Yoast have the opportunity to specifically set that will show for Facebook and Twitter giving you the option of showing specific information for each.
How will this effect marketers?
The first effect on marketers is that they’ll need to ensure that their websites have all the image and description data sorted out, good ones will have this under control already. Where the issues may come is where marketers are sharing other people’s content, which is very good practice, where there sites aren’t yet sorted. At the moment if you post and there’s no image or description you can add your own, very soon this won’t work anymore.
This will create a double imperative for this issue to be fixed because you need your own site to display properly when you post and just as importantly when someone else shares a page from your site on Facebook.
As this kicks in we expect to see a decline in shares on Facebook from websites who haven’t got this issue under control yet.