Melanie is a tech YouTuber who loves social media and is an expert on internet culture. She also runs a YouTube channel: The Curious Coder.
The other day I wrote a blog post on how to find where your articles, photos, and other online media have been shared across social media. When I tried sharing my post on Facebook, the Facebook API refused to pull up the image from my blog post. Nobody wants to click a link without a picture or anything describing the link. No description = no traffic.
However, I did find a fix for this. Facebook has a handy tool called the Open Graph Object Debugger.
You head on over to this handy little thing and paste your problem URL in the box and voilà… well, your problems aren’t solved. But, it does tell you what kind of beast you have to fight.
Step-by-Step Video Guide on How to Get Facebook to Pull the Correct Image/Thumbnail
The debugger gave me the following information:
More Than One OG URL Specified:
Object at URL ‘http://writealoud.com/social-media-how-to-find-where-your-content-was-shared/’ of type ‘article’ is invalid because it specifies multiple ‘og:url’ values…
What Does This Mean?
Essentially, this notice says that I have too much Facebook going on with my blog. This is true, I had accidentally turned on an alternate Facebook plug-in. Both plugins are adding open graph meta (which is confusing for Facebook.)
So, if you’re having trouble with Facebook pulling up images from your URLs, check out the debugger. If it throws up the same error, you’ve probably got plug-ins fighting over the Open Graphs Meta heart. Open your WordPress plug-in page and dig around to see what is throwing out og tags. You can also open your website in developer mode to view code to see if, in fact, your site is sending out competing og tags.
If You Don't Have Any og Tags Set:
Another issue that may be causing this is that none of your images are sending out og tags, in which case you'll want to install a plug-in to handle your social media tags. I strongly recommend getting one for Pinterest too, especially if Pinterest doesn't recognize your images. (Pinterest is huge for getting traffic through your images.)
If the debugger is showing that you don’t have any og data specified, here is a guide to get facebook images to show.
If it’s a different error, head on over to Google and ask it to fix your problems… err, I mean, search for it. If all else fails, hit me up. I’d be happy to help.
© 2016 Melanie Palen
Ann Right on February 27, 2020:
I've been using the debugger link for years. Today, all of a sudden, Facebook is pulling an image of ME, not any of the images on my page, even though the featured image DOES show on the debugger page. I'm baffled, and so...I searched Google and see that you updated this post just a few days ago. Have you seen this issue. Is Facebook pulling another one of their tricks to mess up us little guys? I've been dealing with the way they pull images for years. Ugh!
ania on February 01, 2019:
hi the link "a guide to get facebook images to show." doesnt work ;(
blb on August 21, 2018:
I have only one absurd and absolutely unimportant error of "missing fb:app_id" which has no effect on page picture whatsoever, link to image is correct (verified several times), I tried to scrape still no image is shown for the page, initially when I posted the link to FB several days ago everything went smoothly - picture for page was shown correctly as i should, but now no luck...I also tested my other pages with abslutely the same page code behind yet those are OK, only this one specific page is wrong, have no clue why...
Donna on June 04, 2018:
Thank you! That fixed our issue :)
Julie on February 01, 2018:
Hi and thankful so much for your article. I feel that I am one step closer to working out why FB isn’t showing my thumbnails... the only problem is I have no idea what the Open Graph debuggers answer means
Marian L from UK on June 04, 2017:
I need to do this on one of my sites, must bookmark to action later as no time now, thanks for this!
Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent from Mississauga, ON on November 13, 2016:
Wow! Great tip!
I got to try this.
Martie Coetser from South Africa on November 12, 2016:
Thanks a lot for telling us how to fix an absent image when sharing our writings on Facebook, Melanie. Your knowledge is precious and much appreciated.