The Solution To Facebook’s Link Insert Bug

A new bug reared its ugly head when Facebook rolled out their new page design. A bug that was driving me nuts. But fortunately, I soon found an extremely simple fix.

I first wanted to check and make sure that I was not the only person coming across the problem. But after a quick straw poll amongst some colleagues, I discovered that I was not.

Here’s the problem:

Facebook Bug

Yikes. Ugly, right? Whereas Facebook typically takes a link you paste into the status update field and populates it with a title, description and thumbnail, I would often end up with something like the above screenshot. It doesn’t exactly look appealing for your fans, does it?

The Solution

The sadistic part of me wants to make this more complicated, but there’s no need. I have found a simple fix to this bug that has worked every time so far – depending upon the URL you paste in, either add or remove the trailing forward slash.

So in the above example, I refreshed the page to get rid of the old draft status update, then pasted in “http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/beginners-introduction-to-multisite”. Here’s what resulted:

A Beginner's Introduction To Multisite

Much better, right? A simple, yet elegant solution.

If anyone technically minded knows why Facebook is experiencing this problem, please let us know in the comments section!

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Comments (9)

  1. Thanks for that. We have encountered a different problem – we post an item on our FB page, and modify the text that Facebook automatically chose to accompany the link (under the dotted line) but when fans see the post on their homepage, they see the original text that Facebook automatically retrieved.
    Have you encountered this problem? (Or better still – found a solution?)

      • Hi Israeli,

        Shawn is right – you can adjust the meta description accordingly (and this is best practice for the search engines too, so is worth doing). I haven’t come across this problem myself.

        Cheers,

        Tom

  2. Hi Tom,

    yeah, had the same problem .. the preview was just too ugly! But I also found out, that when you posted the ugly preview for real, the title, image and link were included properly in the post.

    But these neat little trick will make my preview nice too, thanks for sharing! Cheers & Ciao ..

  3. This is actually a caching issue on FB’s end. Changing the URL at all has the same effect – adding a ? to the end, for example. The only reason this works is because the URL caching system FB is using the last few weeks is far less stable than it used to be, and it ONLY waits about 5 seconds max for a page to be returned before populating the values with only the URL. If your site is too slow, this will cause problems. USE A CACHING PLUGIN! This will ensure that the HTML for the page (which is what FB parses) will return very quickly, enabling the snippet to appear correctly each time.

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