Facebook og:image not scraped when users share a topic

facebook not scrape image when the topic is shared by user via the share link below post, even though its successfully scrape by facebook debugger. Not sure weather its a bug or not.

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What I found is that Facebook tends to give up if your image is:

  • too slow

  • too big

  • too small

When that happens, a second try on Facebook debugger works just fine. What solved that was using a CDN or a faster hosting.


Would it possible for us to actually set the og:image as the first image in the first message of the topic, if there is one? I think this would be a nice feature for social sharing, as opposed to letting FB try to scrape the entire page

That’s already the way it works. Make sure the first image in the post or topic (whatever you are linking to) is sufficiently large, and that’ll be the one used.

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I tried sharing this topic below, but the image facebook takes is still the avatar of the poster. Perhaps I am missing something?

That’s because you didn’t link the topic, the /3 at the end means you were linking directly to a reply. You can see exactly what Facebook is going to pick up using their developer sharing debugger.

Topic link: https://www.helloforos.com/t/algunas-fotos-de-mi-experiencia-en-el-dorado-world-tour/472432/
Reply link: https://www.helloforos.com/t/algunas-fotos-de-mi-experiencia-en-el-dorado-world-tour/472432/3

This is the embed if you share the correct link to the topic:

Topic OG data:

Reply OG data:

Checking the FB cache, the direct topic URL in question has never been shared to them, the link you gave above is the exact url they’ve cached previously.

It looks as though the OG tags only include images for the first post in a topic, otherwise it reverts to the avatar, even if that reply includes an image. I can’t comment as to whether that’s the intended behavior, but as Jeff says the topic links do include the first image within their data.

That said, it wouldn’t make sense for replies to embed the image - there’s no context and it would confuse the user when they click through to the page and can’t see it without scrolling all the way up.


Got it.

I do think it brings up a usability question. If I as a user wanting to share a topic from my phone, simply grab the url, then I imagine other users will do the same.

Obviously, much bigger things to address, but I would say that the image from the first message of the topic would be better than that of the posters avatar. Though, the user experience would still not match my intention, since users would bypass the images at the top of the topic

That’s the challenge of infinite scrolling though, right?

If you’re looking at a specific reply in a topic and share, would you prefer it default to the first post, or the one you’re looking at? With some topics ending up thousands of posts in length it’s typical that the thing you want to share is the thing you’re looking at.

I think we all need a certain amount of reprogramming where this is concerned, previously it wasn’t this way because achieving the same result was quite a lot trickier.

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Not thinking techincally, I would expect that a user who sees a good topic, may easily be seeing the first responses when they decide to share

On very long topics, I could see some users wanting to share a specific reply, but I would expect this to be an edge case which could be handled by a small share button on the specific reply

In android the share button on the first topic will allow him to share directly to the Facebook app, no url handling necessary.


Not sure if this merits creating a separate topic, but has there ever been a thought of setting up a field for og:image that could be used for categories and the community as a whole? I typically want to invite people on Facebook and promote for users to participate in a specific category, but the graphical call-to-action is certainly lacking. And I’m not sure if anyone has found a good way to get around this.

I really have akin problem, but it’s not only on Facebook, but also in messenger, imessenger, linkedin, etc. It basically pics the first picture from my website, and I need it to be my logo.

We already have a tool for site-wide banners, as I mentioned in your other post.

In terms of sharing your community as a site or category you already have that tool available to you, although it’s surprising just how many administrators and moderators overlook them.

As we’ve acknowledged above, og:image is set to the first image of the initial post, and every category already includes an “About the XXX category” post. You could easily update these posts to serve as an initial introduction to the category including any imagery you want to appear when shared off-site and share those posts externally. They’re horribly underused by most sites, I think we’ve all developed a habit of tuning them out - when we’re setting up new communities or categories defining each can almost be an inconvenience.

Site-level promotion is equally simple, create a post and use it as your go-to point of entry for new users.

An intro post would solve this too. You can set your logo as the initial image and control exactly what others see when posted externally, although if you’re using Discourse og:image for / is going to be your logo already.

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Thx @Stephen, I respect the idea that we could promote the about the category post, but what we’d love to do is promote the topic list of a category, where new users could see the dynamism of the contributions by our community. Linking to a static post wouldn’t convey the experience that our site offers.

Unless I’m missing something, it sounds like having an ability to set an og:image for the category is not currently possible, and I’d like to see if it can be considered as an enhancement.

I would be happy if it could just pull the same og:image from the about the category post… that could be a fine way to manage it without having to add more settings to the category editor.