These past days a saw a couple of people complaining on Twitter that posting Blogger links on Facebook doesn’t show the nice rich preview we are all used to seeing. There was also a report that Blogger links were marked as spam and required word verification to post. While that issue seems to be fixed in the mean time, the previews are still missing. And now that I think about it, it must have started much longer ago, since I noticed it days ago on some links automatically posted to my profile by ifttt.
Hey @Blogger users: why, when I share a link to my blog on Facebook, does it not display images or blurbs anymore? Just Shows the URL.— beta dad (@betadad) March 8, 2012
But on the other hand, my own blog doesn’t have this problem! I could think of only one difference between the two, that is I had implemented the Facebook Open Graph markup about two years ago – as I have detailed back then in two different articles – and the other blog(s) didn’t. I checked this empirically with Jesse Stay’s website – which certainly has the markup as well – and, sure enough, Facebook generates previews for it just fine.
It looks like Facebook is starting to push the Open Graph markup more aggressively, through a, not so subtle, “incentive” (shall we say) for bloggers and website owners to play by Facebook’s rules on the web. While that can add some structure, some much needed semantics to sites, the primary benefactor for the foreseeable future remains Facebook, since it’s about the only place where this new markup can be accessed in a practical way by users. It will be interesting to see if this requirement will extend from Blogger blogs to other sites and domains or if it’s simply a low blow against Google.