Troubleshoot a Link Post's Preview Image and Text

Every time you create or share a Link Post, the link is scraped to determine what image, title, and description will appear for the link. Sometimes links return an error message, or they don’t return the expected image, title, or description, and that's where this article comes in handy. This article covers troubleshooting steps to understand the underlying causes for why a link's preview isn't showing up correctly.

Let's get started!

Test the URL

Testing other social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc) can help determine where the problem lies because we all use the same industry-standard technology to scrape metadata from links.

You'll want to have two links for the test, a link that is displaying the expected results and the link that's giving unexpected results. Test the links in the following platforms.

  • Meta: Paste the working link into the Meta Sharing Debugger. Note the results. Then, repeat this step with the link in question.
  • Twitter: Paste the working link into the Twitter Card Validator and note the results. Then, repeat this step with the link in question.
  • LinkedIn: Paste the working link into the LinkedIn Post Inspector and note the results. Then, repeat this step with the link in question.
  • EveryoneSocial: Inside EveryoneSocial, select Compose > Post > Link and paste the working link.

Understanding the results

If any of those social media platforms fail to create a content card—entirely or partially—the odds are overwhelmingly high that EveryoneSocial shared a similar result since all four platforms share the same technology to create content cards.

Addressing the problem

For social media platforms to successfully scrape a webpage, a few key requirements must be fulfilled. We’ve documented those requirements below and provided some handy tips to share with the web developer who maintains the webpage(s) in question.

🔹Note: Addressing the problem is achievable if you have access to the backend of the website with the link in question.

Apply Open Graph meta tags

The webpage must apply Open Graph meta tags to the image, title, and description to tell webpages what should be displayed when that webpage link is shared to social networks. Here are a few resources to help guide you on how to apply Open Graph meta tags.

Allow bots to view the page's content

Crawler bots, often called “user-agents,” scrape the website to find the Open Graph meta tags. If these user-agents are blocked (usually in the robots.txt file), you’ll run into trouble on social media platforms.

Ensure that EveryoneSocial’s user-agent is allowed. We recommend allowing other social media platforms to your allowed user-agent list, too. Here is a list of agents to allow to scrape the webpage.

  • EveryoneSocial User-Agent: EveryoneSocialBot

  • Twitter User-Agent: More information here

  • LinkedIn User-Agent: LinkedInBot (version numbers and information will change)

  • Facebook User-Agent: More information here

In addition to our internal crawler bot, EveryoneSocialBot, we also have two failover options in case our crawler is blocked. While it’s not required, we recommend allowing these user-agents access to the webpage. Version numbers will change over time.

  • Embedly: Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Embedly/0.2; +http://support.embed.ly/)

  • Iframely: Iframely/1.3.1 (+https://iframely.com/docs/about)

A note about images

Images have a different set of rules for each platform, and diagnosing the underlying issue can be complicated. Here are a few things to consider. 

Webp files

Networks have different requirements for images and quite a few links use Webp files for their preview image. EveryoneSocial supports Webp files but some platforms do not. Be sure to check our article on image specifications for sharing photos to see if a network supports the image file type.

GIFs

When a URL has a GIF set as the og:image, EveryoneSocial will present the GIF but some platforms will not. When a GIF is unsupported, the network uses the GIF's first frame as a static image. Unfortunately, we cannot change the frame.

You'll want to upload a new image if you do not want to use the first frame of the GIF for the URL share preview. 

Have more questions for us?

If your URL is populating correctly on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, but it is not in EveryoneSocial, please reach out to our Support team so we can investigate further!

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