Why can’t Facebook find the right image when I share a link?

Posted on June 18, 2014 10:29 am by | Visual Communication | Facebook

Facebook can't seem to find the right image for the links I shareUpdate: Greg Brooks and Nicole Simon have pointed me to the Open Graph protocol and this page to debug my most current post: The fact that the right image appears in LinkedIn and Google+ posts leaves me exactly where I was before i was aware of the Open Graph issue. It’s a stupid problem Facebook should be able to fix.

It’s a minor little Facebook gripe, especially when compared to substantive issues like privacy and organic reach, but it has now driven me crazy enough that I’m resorting to posting about it.

Facebook just can’t seem to get it right when choosing images to include with a shared link.

Today I posted a link to a CNN Money story about the U.S. Patent Office canceling the registration for six Washington Redskins trademarks because they were disparaging to Native Americans. For an image, Facebook grabbed a picture from the movie Frozen, which was part of the fourth item in the page’s Hot List sidebar, some distance from the trademark story.

I know, I know—I could have deleted the image, but I was hastily sharing a link to a breaking news story and didn’t give it any thought. But then there are all those times I share a link to a new episode from the FIR Podcast Network. The post for a new episode of FIR B2B, for example, features the logo for the show, mug shots of the two hosts, and an additional mug shot of the episode’s guest. What options do I get for images? Not one from the new episode. Instead, I’m presented with three images from earlier posts of other shows or images from the sidebar. Another example is in the image above. You can see the Linked Conversations logo in the post, but the three options Facebook gives me are from

On Google+, all the images from which I can choose are from the post itself. Ditto LinkedIn. But Facebook just can’t seem to get this right.” alt=“Facebook can’t find the right image to go with the link I’m sharing” height=“467” width=“385”  />It’s a minor little Facebook gripe, especially when compared to substantive issues like privacy and organic reach, but it has now driven me crazy enough that I’m resorting to posting about it.

Today I posted a link to a CNN Money story about the U.S. Patent Office’s cancelation of registration for six Washington Redskins trademarks because they were disparaging to Native Americans. For an image, Facebook grabbed a picture from the movie Frozen, which was the fourth item in the page’s Hot List sidebar.

I know, I know—I could have deleted the image, but I was hastily sharing a link to breaking news and didn’t give it any thought. But then there are all those times I share a link to a new episode from the FIR Podcast Network. The post for a new episode of FIR B2B, for example, features the logo for the show, mug shots of the two hosts, and an additional mug shot of the episode’s guest. What options do I get for images? Not one from the new episode. Instead, I’m presented with three images from earlier posts of other shows or images from the sidebar. Another example is in the image above. The Linked Conversations post clearly includes the show logo, but the three images Facebook offered to include were from a Higher Education episode, a Thought Leadership episode and the banner for the network website.

On Google+, all the images from which I can choose are from the post itself. Ditto LinkedIn. But Facebook just can’t seem to get this right.

 

Comments

  • 1.Shel, I've had the same problem with Facebook numerous times. It's irritating.

    Barbara Nixon | June 2014 | United States

  • 2.SUPER annoying. Any time I try to post a link to a blog post on my company's blog FB pulls in the chamber of commerce logo that is in our footer. What the....?! Our digital team has looked into it and the ONLY workaround they've found is to use the FB link debugger tool (https://developers.facebook.com/tools/debug/). Ummm, that is not a solution, that is a band-aid! I can't be bothered with debugging every darn link I post to FB. I've also had issues with FB pulling images from landing pages when I post ads. The images from the landing page overrides the image I uploaded for the ad. Again... WTF?!

    Leah | June 2014 | Nashville, TN

  • 3.My email address was wrong in my previous post. Fat thumbs on an iPad.

    Samra Jones Bufkins, MJ, APR | June 2014 | Denton, Texas

  • 4.This is very annoying. I post updates to my own blog and instead of the new post headline and accompanying image it always posts my profile picture and bio. No otjer site, including Pinterest, does this. I think in your case the image for Frozen was shown because it's an advertiser.

    Samra Jones Bufkins, MJ, APR | June 2014 | Denton, Texas

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