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Answered

Facebook pulling in wrong image when posts are shared

Rob Weir 3 years ago in BLOX CMS • updated by Christine Masters (Director of Product Management) 3 years ago 7

Hi there,


We've had a sporadic problem where, in an article without an added image, Facebook is pulling in random images when users share a story (generally starting with a mugshot of the supervising editor or the author, because those are the largest images on a page). We have the Facebook og:image set to be just a plain Missourian logo, but it seems the sharing function is ignoring that altogether.


Has anyone run into this problem, and if so how did you go about resolving it?

Answer

Answer
Answered

Make sure your og image is the right size. Facebook has increased their desired og image sizes in the past few years, and if it doesn't like your og image (even though that's the image you are specifically telling them to use) they will use something else instead.


They recommend these sizes:


https://developers.facebook.com/docs/sharing/best-practices#images

GOOD, I'M SATISFIED

Thanks Christine! We've used the 200x200 as the og image because it's a logo, but we are contemplating having a separate image as the og that will be larger; just hate the idea of having stock art for each article or something like that. Elizabeth and I will putt our heads together on it.

Satisfaction mark by Rob Weir 3 years ago

We have seen the same problem as well in the past but for us it is typically an ad that gets pulled in as the preview image.


We haven't seen the problem <knock-on-wood> since we started using the Social Broadcast functionality instead of posting links to Facebook manually.

We post through SocialFlow, and this issue only happens when people share the post on their own so it's been hard for us to track. I'm sure it's the image size, I just haven't figured out getting the right alternative.

Answer
Answered

Make sure your og image is the right size. Facebook has increased their desired og image sizes in the past few years, and if it doesn't like your og image (even though that's the image you are specifically telling them to use) they will use something else instead.


They recommend these sizes:


https://developers.facebook.com/docs/sharing/best-practices#images

I would definitely do at least 600x600 if you wanted a square logo. Then you'll get the little side-floated image.


Also note that you can apply an og image at the section level (in both Zen and Flex templates). So, you can have a specific image for sports, another for news, another for entertainment, etc. It ends up being a little more specific instead of one single generic photo.


Lastly, some of their sites, as they move to Flex especially, are really emphasizing having images with all articles. This means that BLOX will automatically create a large-sized image of the first content photo to be used as an og.image.


We actually found through recent testing that if the image was large enough, and I think 600x600 would be, that Facebook would crop that into the larger size preview image instead of displaying it as the small square.


We had to size the image back down to 300x300 to get the little square.


But also of note, that little square will only display correctly on desktop. Mobile users will still get the cropped 1.91:1 ratio preview.

Thanks Christine. I feel like I'm beating my head against a wall with this. I changed the og:image in the properties to a 1200 width image. I've been re-running the debugger all morning. I actually changed the size of the image it was picking up so it would skip over it, but now it just goes to another random image out of the navigation. I can't seem to force it to pick up the og:image even though I have one set at the right size. In fact when I look at the code for what Facebook shows, it's trying to pull in a preview from a YouTube video embedded in the file, but since that is too small, it goes to something else on the page. But I don't know why it's not going to the default og:image.

We've now made improvements to Facebook og tags to both Zen and Flex based on new Facebook rules. Has this been working better for you?