In Our Opinion

How Facebook’s fight against fake news is changing Page posts

By July 25, 2017 January 23rd, 2019 No Comments

In the past, when we shared a link to a Page, we had the opportunity to edit the headline, body copy and photo used, rather than using the automatically generated preview. Making these edits was a great way to maximize the post with extra copy or a preferred photo.

Unfortunately, this ability to edit also allowed for the proliferation of fake news and click bait with “publishers” editing a link with bogus headlines or photos designed to make an item look legitimate.

Under pressure to limit the fake news (and stop ticking off users), Facebook has “removed the ability for any Page to edit how a link appears. By removing the ability to alter 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. Our blog post has more information.” Source: Facebook

To give you an idea of what that means for Page owners sharing links, here is the same link before, and after, the change:

STBG Saddle Bag Post

Before I could change the image, and include copy from the post in the description. Now, I need to make sure these items are in the post to ensure inclusion.

So what, as a Page owner, can you do to minimize the impact of this change?

Ensure the image (or images) you want in your post are on the page to which you are linking. The less images you include, the more likely the photo you want will show up in the rendered preview.

Bob kisses Steve

As much as I wanted to add this picture of a friend giving Steve a big “smooch,” Facebook didn’t want to let me include it. Next time I’ll include less photos on the post, or make sure the one I want is near the front of the gallery.

Make sure your metadata is up-to-date. The description for my husband’s shop, which now provides limited mobile services, needs to be updated.

Steve Meta Description

Skip the preview. Another option is to upload an image and include the link in your description, but don’t allow Facebook to render the link preview.

Sharing a link without rendering a preview

To quote Elsa from Frozen. . . Let it go. While a little something inside me dies to say it, there are just going to be times when the link preview isn’t going to be exactly what I want, and I just have to let it go.

Musterfield Place Post

We would normally edit the description to remove the date and headline. Now, we just have to “let it go.”