In an effort to help dismantle the abundance of false news and misleading content floating around on social sharing sites, Facebook is stepping in to make changes to its API that will prevent all users from modifying the preview of any link shared on Facebook, affecting both personal and business pages.
How Does This Update Impact Users?
Moving forward, the headline (or title), description, and the image that accompanies a link will no longer be editable. This means that the metadata that pulls in automatically for a given link will be static, so what you see is what you get. For many businesses with an active social media presence, this change has significant ramifications, as you will no longer be able to edit incorrect metadata or swap out poor imagery.
According to Facebook, this update to their API will help provide more transparency in content and prevent the spread of misinformation.
“Allowing modification of link headlines and images when sharing posts has provided a potential vehicle for malicious users to misrepresent underlying link content, and hence Facebook is removing the capability.” –Facebook Marketing Team
What Should I Do About These Changes?
- Continue to gather and post relevant content from reputable websites that you think will resonate with your target audience.
- Utilize the “photo” post format to upload your preferred imagery and include shortened links.
- Post your own content and images to increase engagement online. You can find some tips in this blog post, 13 Easy Ways to Boost Social Media Engagement.
Facebook is aware that these changes will impact users and businesses in a big way and will continue to research methods and solutions for customizing data without compromising transparency or content integrity.