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.

Facebook Wall Comments

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.

Facebook Link Share Comment

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.

Facebook Wall Comment Thumbnail

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.

Website TonightIf 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

  1. Log in to your Website Tonight account.
  2. Navigate to the page of your site where you want to add a FB thumbnail option.
  3. Click the Page tab (top center).
  4. Hover over the Properties icon (top center under the Page tab).
  5. Select Meta Data from the drop-down menu.
  6. 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.
  7. Click the Apply button (bottom right).
  8. 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.
  9. Repeat steps 6, 7, and 8 until all the thumbnails are added to all the pages.
  10. Publish your Website Tonight project.
If the thumbnails still aren’t showing on Facebook as options when you post a Link comment on a Wall then make sure that you have published your Website Tonight project and double-check the URL of the thumbnail to make sure that it is correct.

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.

9 Replies to Thumbnail Options for Shared Links on Facebook

  1. Alvin says:

    HOLY CRAP! THANK YOU SO FREAKING MUCH! Not even anyone at godaddy.com new what to do. As a matter of fact, I saw several posts from them saying it wasn’t even possible. You just made my week.

  2. Pam says:

    I just wanted to say that I’ve been googling this problem for 3 days… I didn’t fully understand meta tags and all of that before and I was getting INCREDIBLY frustrated because I just couldn’t understand what I was doing wrong… Anyway, after seeing this post and following you SUPER easy instructions, I now have a thumbnail beside my link!! ….And it only took me 5 minutes!! lol ~ Thanks for the help, you rock! ;)

    • Kirkland says:

      You’re welcome Pam!

      Now you can do me a favor… Show a little love and click one of the ad banners on the right side of the screen. It wont generate spam. It just tells the advertiser that I recommended them, so IF you make a purchase in the next month or so I will get a little kick-back. :)

      ~ Kirkland

  3. Jon says:

    So in Website Tonight, how do you find the full URL of the photo?

    • Kirkland says:

      It depends on how you upload the photo, but most likely the full URL will look like this…

      http://YOUR_DOMAIN.COM/images/FILE_NAME.JPG

      If you added the photo as an upload instead of through the Image Library then the URL will look like this…

      http://YOUR_DOMAIN.COM/uploads/FILE_NAME.JPG

      If you still can’t find it then add it to a content block, then just right-click on it and select the option “Copy Image URL” or “Copy Image Path” (verbiage may vary), then paste it somewhere – like a new browser window, Word, or notepad. That will get you the exact path, but be careful with this method. If you view your site in Preview Mode the URL will be the Preview Mode URL to the image and not always work when you publish the site.

      ~ Kirkland

  4. Paul says:

    I did exactly what you said and the facebook share thumbnails are exactly the same.

    I have tried a lot of different things including rechecking the url of the image.

    If you can help me resolve this it’d be much appreciated!

    FYI the white man in the black/ yellow box at the top left is the thumbnail I’m wanting to use.

    Got the url for the thumbnail from the live site.

    THANKS SO MUCH!

    • Kirkland says:

      Hi Paul,

      I just approved and replied to a comment from Cherry below that answers your question. I also updated the post with a link to the Facebook tool that fixes this problem when you did everything right.

      Thanks,
      Kirkland

  5. Cherry says:

    Hi,

    I tried to follow all the instructions above, however, still I cannot find the new thumbnail I created in the metapage when I tried to share in the facebook.

    I look forward to your favorable response

    • Kirkland says:

      Hi Cherry,

      I looked at the code on your homepage and I can see that you successfully added a thumbnail for Facebook. That just means Facebook needs to “re-cache” the URL. You can make Facebook do this by using their Debug Tool. Just enter the URL you are trying to link to, then try to share the link again and it should be fixed.

      Thanks,
      Kirkland

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