Customize Your Facebook Link Preview by Verifying Your Domain
Integrity is everything in Facebook Land these days – and that is a great thing, even if it means having to make adjustments to the way we, as marketers, are used to doing things.
For example: When uploading a link to Facebook, the social media site automatically generates a link preview – pulling the feature image, title and preview text from the body of the web page you’re sharing. In the past, you could quickly and easily alter all three of those preview elements to appear exactly as you wanted them to. As of this past summer, however, Facebook disabled that feature in an attempt to limit the spread of misinformation and fake news titles. While the customization feature was a valuable resource for marketers, ill-intentioned individuals were utilizing it to misrepresent page content – creating click-bait or bait-and-switch scenarios – or to spam users with posts that did not meet Facebook’s strict community guidelines.
“As part of our continuing efforts to stop the spread of misinformation and false news on our platform, earlier this year at F8 we announced an important change to our Graph API,” Facebook noted in June. “By removing the ability to customize link metadata (i.e. headline, description, image) from all link sharing entry points on Facebook, we are eliminating a channel that has been abused to post false news.”
What Does This Mean for Marketers?
Although Facebook made this change to protect its users from unwanted content, it received plenty of backlash from marketing professionals who relied on the customization feature to advance their posts. Some marketers utilized the feature to run A/B tests on their posts, and for others, the objective was even simpler: to ensure their content displayed in the best way possible.
- A photo could be updated to more appropriately fit into Facebook’s specs
- A title that may have been written for SEO purposes could be altered to read more simply
- The text in the description box could be shortened and/or re-written to make sense within the parameters of the character display limits
Facebook vowed that it was committed to “working to find other solutions that allow publishers to share customized content on our platform,” and they kept their promise.
“The integrity of content on Facebook is a serious concern, and domain verification is a step towards ensuring that only verified owners can edit the way their content appears on Facebook,” the social media giant says. “Many publishing apps use link editing to customize and create engaging content for the Facebook community. In an effort to preserve this essential functionality in a way that protects the integrity of publishers’ content, verified link owners will now have the ability to overwrite link metadata when creating link page posts.”
How Can You Customize Your Facebook Link Previews Now?
Although the new process requires a few extra steps, you can once again customize your link previews – once you verify your domain.
First, you’ll need to create a Facebook Business Manager account if you haven’t done so already. In the People and Assets tab, click on Domains and add your domain. From there you’ll need to choose one of two methods for verifying that domain and confirming your ownership of it.
- Add a DNS TXT entry to your DNS record; or
- Upload an HTML file to your web directory.
Facebook provides a helpful step-by-step tutorial outlining domain verification, why it’s needed, and how to achieve it. But if you find yourself in need of assistance navigating it all, we can help. Contact our social media department today for a consultation.