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Getting back Your Link Ownership

Remember that Facebook made efforts to reduce the spread of misinformation and false news on News Feed? This resulted in publishers not being able to customise their metadata of link posts. Facebook acknowledged this and recently announced a solution via its Link Ownership Tool.

3 min read

Getting back your link ownership

If you’ve read our blog Time to be Authentic on Facebook News Feed then you’re already aware that Facebook has made some serious efforts to reduce the spread of misinformation and false news on Facebook. As you probably have noticed, these efforts have had a huge impact on the metadata of link posts. You were no longer able to customise your headlines, description and image. Luckily, Facebook recently announced that it has created a solution to be able to edit your link metadata again - like you used to.

Why did Facebook make this change in the first place?

With the increase in clickbait headlines and eye-catching but inappropriate posts, Facebook users no longer trusted the content published on News Feed and ultimately clicked less on link posts. Getting sent to low-quality sites from the News Feed caused users to end their Facebook browsing sessions, depriving publishers of views, engagement and content sharing. This is why Facebook made serious efforts to avoid fake news and lower the traffic to low-quality websites. Since then, publishers no longer have had the chance to customise their headlines, description and image of their link posts.

How are my ads affected?

In June, Facebook announced it would stop its users from changing headlines, descriptions and images when posting links, as part of its broader push to crack down the spread of fake news or misleading information. However, this change did not affect any paying advertisers, who still had the option to alter these link previews via the Power Editor or other ad platforms. Now there are discussions of whether to also restrict the customisation of link ads and thus also restrict advertisers. This means that advertisers might soon no longer be able to change headlines.

‘While they should be able to edit links pointing to their own material, they shouldn’t be able to edit headlines on stories they didn’t create,’ according to a Facebook spokesman. ‘Advertisers will still be able to edit headlines in links when they point to their own content, and we have strict policies in place that prohibit misleading ads.’

The solution

Facebook acknowledged that it is vital for both publishers and advertisers to be able to edit and customise their link posts for their audience. That’s why Facebook has created a solution via the Link Ownership Tool. Via this solution Facebook found a balance between making it possible to customise link posts and making sure content remains trustworthy. 

Why should you care?

Via the new Link Ownership Tool, you can verify that you own a link and thus are able to customise your metadata. Once verified, you will be able to edit link previews for the links and domains you own. This way, you are able to create engaging content for your link ads whilst Facebook makes sure to protect its community from misinformation. Thus, a win-win situation for both Facebook and advertisers. For more (technical) information on how to make use of the Link Ownership Tool, refer to Facebook’s documentation. Finally, to preview your links, check out the Sharing Debugger.

More safety tools to come 

With rising concerns from advertisers and the general fight against fake news, Facebook also announced that it will be launching several brand safety tools that let advertisers see where their ads are likely to appear prior to a campaign's launch. This way, advertisers can get better control over their content and also gain visibility over where their ads have appeared after their campaigns have launched. The pre-campaign advertiser control features are already in roll out phase while the post-campaign tool is set to launch in the coming months. Read more about Facebook's planned developments concerning brand safety and fake news issues and sign up to our newsletter if you want to stay up to date.  

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