11.15.2011

Customize your Facebook links in status updates

Here's a nice, simple tutorial for how to make the links you put into your Facebook status box look the way you want them to.

I believe it was Kelly of KellyNaturally.com who first clued me in to changing the descriptive text, and she's actually someone I've been talking with recently about frustrating Facebook changes that have restricted our customizations. That said, I hope most or some of the following still work for you (or will in the future)!


(Click images to see them larger.)

screenshot for edit custom text in Facebook status links

When you paste or type a link into the status box, Facebook will try to pull up a title, URL, description, and thumbnail for you. Sometimes this is helpful. Sometimes this is a big bucket of fail.

Randomly, Facebook used to pull the post description from my first comment. I believe this is some weird Blogger–Facebook glitch. It was not ideal.

Since adding my meta keywords and blog description, Facebook now draws from that — in this case, A blog about natural parenting — which is marginally preferable though still off.


screenshot for edit custom text in Facebook status links

But I can change it to be what I want.

Hover your mouse over the description, and you'll see it highlights.

screenshot for edit custom text in Facebook status links

Click it, and now it's editable.


screenshot for edit custom text in Facebook status links

Leave it and add to it, or delete it and start fresh.


screenshot for edit custom text in Facebook status links

Click outside the box to set it.

screenshot for edit custom text in Facebook status links


Other ways to customize:

  • Customize the status. Delete the link once Facebook has "found" it and pulled up the preview, and then type in your own description/status in the main box. However, just to point out as well, it used to be that the title of my post would show where it says just "Hobo Mama," but again, Facebook is glitching. Because of this, sometimes I leave the full link in the status update box so that people know it's not linking just to my homepage.
  • Select a thumbnail, or no thumbnail. As you can see, Facebook isn't playing nicely with Blogger right now (or with other blog platforms, either, frankly), so it's pulling up a max of one thumbnail from my posts lately ("1 of 1"). Usually, it would show all possible thumbnails and I could flip through them to choose the one I like best. If having a thumbnail (or the wrong one) would distract, you can click "No Thumbnail" to make it go away.

Note

These customization options work only if you're putting in links manually. They won't take effect or be editable if links are auto-populated on your page or wall (such as from Networked Blogs or similar).

If you have other favorite customizations or reports of FB bugginess (just to commiserate), add them in the comments!
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