How To Fix The Facebook Thumbnail Sharing Problem

by Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] on October 25, 2011

in Blogging,How To Use The Internet,The Internets

Facebook is an asshole.

But like that fart you let out in the shower, you can’t get away from it.

Hell, even my grandma is on Facebook, and so are my tween 2nd cousins who keep trying to “friend” me. I’m sorry. I’m not going “friend” my 12-year-old 2nd cousin to read my adult shenanigans. OK, I’m lying. I accepted their friend requests, and I try to remember filter out my adult-only updates, but if their parents think it’s OK for their kids to read about my shenanigans, go right ahead, cousins.

As a blogger, code-fiddler, and breaker-of-code, I try to do my own back-end thatswhatshesaid fixes so I don’t have to wait around for weeks* to have Patrick fix things for me. [*He only makes ME wait for weeks to do updates I ask. He totally does what he’s paid to do in a timely manner. Think SNL’s Nick Burns, Your Company’s Computer Guy, just with a less greasy hair-do and slightly less Jimmy Fallon-looking.]

Facebook is here, it’s queer, and it’s not going anywhere, so we bloggers just have to learn how to play nice with it and its finicky developer codings. The main issue I have had with Facebook and its assholishness is the image that shows in your timeline when you share a link. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it pulls a weird icon you used back in 2007, and sometimes it doesn’t pull any image at all.

This is what your links SHOULD look like when they’re shared or “liked” on Facebook (exhibit 1):

Open Graph Protocol Facebook Thumbnail

I’ve spent way too many hours of my precious TV-watching time searching for solutions to the issues Facebook presents. For whatever reasons, Facebook doesn’t do what I tell it to just by yelling at the lappytop screen. Asshole.

The easiest solution I’ve found to solving the Facebook-pulling-the-correct-image-from-my-Wordpress-post-when-I-or-someone-likes-or-shares-my-link problem is using the plugin, Facebook Like Thumbnail. It’s self-explanatory, and it works most of the time.

But of course, Facebook is an asshole, and it won’t work for you all of the time.

I suggest adding in Facebook’s fancy and assholish Open Graph Protocol info to your blog. You can deal with fancy code, or if you’re like me and are allergic to coding, you can install this fancy plugin: The Facebook Open Graph Protocol plugin.

But, Pangie, what if I don’t have any images in my post for Facebook to pull?

I’m glad you asked, reader. Either of those plugins will allow you to upload a backup image or banner for Facebook to pull from your site when you or someone else shares or “likes” your posts. Exhibit 2:

Facebook Image Thumbnail Post Share

What do you think, friends? Is that easy enough for you to update your blogs so when your posts are shared or “liked,” a pretty image, title, and summary are shared with the link?

I thought so.

If you thought this how-to guide was helpful, check out my other Pangie Guides You Through the Internet quick and dirty guides. And more guides.

And by the way, you’re welcome. ~ Angie Pangie, Your Internet’s Do-It-The-Easy-Way Hack Girl

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Miss October 25, 2011 at 11:06 pm

Excellent! Now figure out how to stop youtube from making thumbnails out of the most unflattering moments of your vlog to be used as the preview.
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2 Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] October 25, 2011 at 11:17 pm

You mean… LIKE THIS?

Me thinks you need a guide on how to change the image preview in YouTube. I’m here for you.


3 Amy October 26, 2011 at 7:05 am

I find the picture problem crops up when there are URL discrepancies, like hidden canonical links in the page that gets FB’s mind all f’d up. Problem is, once you try and submit something and you realize the link or photo is all mixed up and you find a way to fix it on the PAGE, Facebook says “Nah… I liked it the way I had it.” MAYBE if you come back tomorrow I’ll refresh my opinion, but… for now… sticking with this.”


4 Colleen October 26, 2011 at 7:40 am

My head hurts now.

Stupid Facebook.
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5 Natalie @MamaTrack October 26, 2011 at 8:41 am

These are awesome tips. Thanks for sharing them!
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6 Amber October 26, 2011 at 9:37 am

Super helpful, Angie! I HATE this problem.


7 Mommy2¢ October 28, 2011 at 11:51 am

LOL! I think I’ve found my new Blogita BFF! You. Are. Awesome! btw… I f*cking hate Facebook!
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8 Robin | Farewell, Stranger December 6, 2011 at 11:37 am

Oh! I totally thought it was me and I had screwed something up. Awesome. Will try to fix.
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9 Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] December 6, 2011 at 11:43 am

Joke’s on you because it IS ALL YOU. BWAAAAHAHAHAHAHAAA…

OK, it’s not. Facebook is an asshole. I hope my fixes can help!


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