Thumbnail Options for Shared Links on Facebook
Every Facebook account has a “Wall” for comments, links, videos, pictures, etc. In the screenshot below of NerdWarehouse.com’s Facebook page you can see the link to the Wall (left-hand side), and where you can leave your own images, videos, links, and comments (top center) on their Wall.
When you are writing a comment on a Wall you have a few different options; status, photo, link, video, etc. When you select the “Link” option Facebook will prompt you to type the full URL of the webpage you are trying to share.
After you enter the URL Facebook will generate a short preview for the page you are linking to. Facebook will also allow you to leave your own comments about the link.
As you can see from the screenshot above you also have the ability to select a thumbnail image. In this example there are three thumbnail options. So here are the big questions… where do the thumbnails come from, can you customize them, and what thumbnails show for links to your website?
The thumbnails come from the webpage that the link goes to, and only the owner of that website has the ability to make different images available for the thumbnail.
If you’re a Website Tonight user then chances are the only option for the thumbnail when someone shares a link to your website is the Website Tonight banner (shown to left). Here’s what you do…
How to Add Thumbnail Options for Facebook Wall Posts
- Log in to your Website Tonight account.
- Navigate to the page of your site where you want to add a FB thumbnail option.
- Click the Page tab (top center).
- Hover over the Properties icon (top center under the Page tab).
- Select Meta Data from the drop-down menu.
- Click the Add Meta Tag button (bottom left).
- In the Name field type og:image
- In the Content field type the full URL of the thumbnail, starting with http://
- Repeat step 6 for each thumbnail you want to add to this page.
- Click the Apply button (bottom right).
- Use the Pages drop-down menu (upper right) to select another page.
- Repeat steps 6 & 7 for each thumbnail you want to add to this page.
If it’s still not working then Facebook is probably only showing the images they memorized last time they scanned that URL (aka: their “cache”). To force Facebook to update their cache put the URL you are creating a link to in Facebook’s Debug Tool and click Debug.
If it’s still not working ask for help by adding a comment below.