If you share a lot of links on Facebook, then you might have already noticed some of the changes the social network is making. Facebook has kicked off two tests, one of which features larger photos and no headline or summary, and the other adds an icon in the bottom right corner to indicate which site the link is to.
In the first test, the image now takes up the full width of the News Feed. Previously, if you wanted to share a full-size image with a link, you had to create a photo post and put the link in the caption. When clicked, the image would open in lightbox view, requiring individuals to click the link separately. The downside is that the headline and summary for the article or website aren’t visible.
As part of the second test, link posts keep their existing format but now include a domain-specific icon in the bottom corner. This not only helps to set link posts apart from other posts within the News Feed, but it also helps with brand recognition. Even if a member shares a link to your blog post or a publisher’s website, they’re also sharing your branding.
This isn’t the first time Facebook has tweaked the appearance of link posts (and probably won’t be the last). In January, the company increased the image size from 90×90 to 154×154 pixels. Then, when it introduced the new News Feed, link titles and body copy were increased in size, and a new font helped them stand out from the rest of the site.
Either test seems like a win-win for businesses. The full-size clickable photos make offsite links more prominent, which could lead to higher clickthrough rates. The important thing to keep in mind is the quality of the images you associated with your articles or webpages, especially if the title and summary disappear from the post. The image will be the main image will be the only thing enticing readers to clickthrough.
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.