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You can no longer modify link previews on Facebook

Posted by benjamin in Digital, Marketing, Social Media.

We were told that Facebook were going to work hard to reduce the amount of ‘fake news’ reported on the platform and it looks like they’ve started – only, it’s not all good news.

The new changes implemented by Facebook mean that the majority of users are now unable to edit the link previews that appear on the site when posting a link to an article or web page. Previously, Facebook allowed you to alter the preview image, the headline and the text snippet that goes along with the link. This is no longer an option.

Having the ability to change the link preview was a useful tool for many businesses and pages on Facebook, particularly when meta descriptions weren’t completed properly or images didn’t pull through. It was also useful for refreshing content used regularly such as a page on your website or a particularly popular blog post.

Facebook preview

Unfortunately, this tool was used by many ‘fake news’ outlets who took advantage of it to customise a story’s meta data to spread misinformation. Replacing key information such as the headline, image and snippet with something controversial or misleading it could increase the likes, comments and shares to the point of going viral. This also meant that often ‘fake’ stories would trend on Facebook which naturally became a huge problem on the platform.

Facebook said that removing this feature for ‘non-publisher’ pages will ‘help eliminate a channel that has been abused to post false news.’

It’s not all bad though, to make sure legitimate publishers don’t get affected, Facebook has added an option for you to apply for link ownership. The platform says it’s going to make link ownership available to publishers ‘first’, which hopefully means it might eventually be offered to other Pages too.

If you would like to be exempt from this change you would need to submit an application by September 12th, when Facebook will be done disabling all Pages’ ability to edit link previews.

Want to know more using Facebook as part of your social media strategy? Or if you want help creating a robust social media strategy, talk to us and discover how social media can work for your business.

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