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As of December 18, Facebook no longer allows users to customize link posts.

In the past, when posting a link to an outside site on Facebook, users could swap out the photo the link generated and put in an image of their choice, but it would still link to the website indicated. Additionally, the title and link description could also be changed.

Now, when sharing an outside link, Facebook will pull the link preview image, headline, and description from the website’s metadata, if the metadata is not available an image and other information may not generate.

This change comes because of the influx of false news that has inundated the site in the past couple of years.

Facebook Developer News states that, “by removing the ability to customize link metadata (i.e. headline, description, image) from all link sharing entry points on Facebook, we are eliminating a channel that has been abused to post false news.”

There are two ways to continue to ensure your website links can be customized.

Domain Verification

Domain Verification provides a way for you to claim ownership of your domain in Business Manager. This ownership allows you to control editing privileges of your links and other content to prevent misuse of your domain and to keep bad actors from spreading misinformation.”

Domain Verification is primarily for businesses that have a large number of Pages to manage, business admins using the Business Manager, the ability to upload HTML files to the web root directory, the ability to edit DNS TXT records.

See the Developers site on Facebook to implement Domain Verification.

Open Graph Markup

Open Graph Markup allow you to optimize web-hosted content from your website that is shared to Facebook.

To do this, your webmaster must “mark up your website with Open Graph tags to take control over how your content appears on Facebook.”

Without the tags Facebook will make its best guess about the title, description, and preview image for the content you link to the site.

See the Developers site on Facebook to implement Open Graph Markup.