Facebook Shared Links Info

Image, Title, Description

Facebook shows the incorrect Image (Title, Description) for my links. What happened?

Facebook made a dramatic change to it’s API on July 18, 2017.

Here is the official announcement on developers.facebook.com – API Change Log: Modifying Link Previews

In order to comply with new Facebook API, ability to manually set “shared link info” has been removed from SNAP Version 3.8.6. Also SNAP implementation of OG tags has been improved a bit.

What changed?

How SNAP worked before the July 18, 2017.

1. You hit “Publish” button.
2. WordPress changed the status of the post to “published” and called the attached to that event hook from SNAP.
2. SNAP collected the post info, then called Facebook and said “Hi Facebook. Here the URL of the link I want to publish on my Facebook page, this is the title for that link, this is the description, this is the image”.
3. Facebook published the link with provided title, description and image.

How SNAP works after the July 18, 2017.

1. You hit “Publish” button.
2. WordPress changes the status of the post to “published” and calls the attached to that event hook from SNAP.
2. SNAP calls Facebook and says “Hi Facebook. Here the URL of the link I want to publish on my Facebook page.
3. Facebook visits the provided URL, collects title, description and image from OG metatags and than publishes the link with that collected from OG metatags info.

This change affected a lot of SNAP users. SNAP used to do a pretty good job at setting attachment info correctly. It even had a way to override the settings and set it manually.

What can be done?

Right now SNAP can’t do anything. Facebook no longer allows to set image, title and description of the shared links through the API. Instead of that Facebook visits the shared link and collects that info by itself.

The only way to adjust what shared link info will be published is to set OG (OpenGraph) metatags. SNAP has a built-in support for OG Metatags, but it’s very simple and limited. We are recommending to use more powerful solutions. There are dozens of plugins that can do that.

PS: (Since we keep getting dozens of support requests about this issue). SNAP No Longer Controls the Image, Title and Description of the Facebook shared links. Facebook disabled this ability in it’s API.. We are really can’t fix or even do anything about that.

The only way to get a correct info is to set openngraph metatags correctly. This could be done via your theme, SEO plugin or special OpenGraph plugin. It’s not related to SNAP anymore


PS 2: (This is also not exactly related to SNAP, but related to the sharing issue.). When SNAP autoposts the new WordPress post image and info is incorrect, but when shared manually later everything is fine.

SNAP autoposts as soon as WordPress post becomes published. Technically speaking SNAP is hooked to post_status_change event. Some WordPress themes and plugins are hooked to events that happened later than post_status_change. It could lead to the situation when your plugin that generates OG tags is not executed yet at the time of autoposting. As the result OG tags are not there yet, and Facebook is getting incorrect info. Please try to set an autoposting delay, adjust or try to change your SEO, cache and/or metatags plugins

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