When scheduling a post for Facebook, you're able to choose the media you'd like to include. If you've included a link in your post, a link preview will be automatically generated. Additionally, you can choose from the suggested images, as well as upload your own image or video. Learn more about these options here.
How your Facebook post looks once published will depend on whether you've kept the link preview, or swapped it for an image or video.
If you've included a link in your post, a link preview will be automatically generated. Link previews mirror what you would see if you were sharing a link natively to Facebook. If you prefer not to have the link displaying in the body of the post, you can remove it from the composer after the link preview has been generated.
The image below shows what a post with a link preview would look like once published. Users can click anywhere on the image or the title beneath it to visit the link.
- Within link previews, we display the image we think will be used by Facebook. At times, this might be different than what Facebook ends up displaying if they are having trouble finding the correct image.
- As of February, 2021, if you add a link to your post that points to anything published on Facebook or Instagram, Buffer will no longer generate a link preview. Learn more about this change here.
- It was previously possible to customize link previews, but in December 2017, Facebook withdrew support for the customization of all link previews that were not your own. This means that if you are sharing a link to somebody else's blog or website, you will not be able to customize the link preview. If you are sharing a link to your own blog or website, and you have set up Domain Verification through Facebook, you will be able to customize link previews for Facebook pages. Learn more about Facebook Domain Verification here.
- For link previews, Facebook automatically creates the preview based on information that they are able to find on the website itself. Facebook uses Open Graph Protocol to determine what the image will be, and they're specifically looking for og:image, og:title, and og:description. Their debugging tool here can come in handy when troubleshooting why a link preview might not look how you expected it to.
- Facebook's developer documentation states that "When content is shared for the first time, the Facebook crawler will scrape and cache the metadata from the URL shared. The crawler has to see an image at least once before it can be rendered. This means that the first person who shares a piece of content won't see a rendered image." This means that if you happen to be the first person sharing this specific link on Facebook, although the image will display in the auto-generated link preview when scheduling the post through Publish, the image will actually be missing once the post is published.
Images and videos
If you would prefer not to use the link preview, you can click Replace link preview with image or video. We will then scrape the link you've included and pull in any images found on the page. You're then able to click on any of those images to include with your post. Alternatively/additionally, you can upload your own image or video.
The image below shows what a post with an image would look like once published. Users can click on the link within the body of the post, but clicking on the image will simply expand the post.
If you include a link in your post and then click Replace link preview with image or video and then don't choose or upload an image or video, your post will end up looking quite plain (i.e. text only). We don't recommend sharing these types of posts as they're unlikely to attract a lot of engagement.