How to Edit the Thumbnail Image that Accompanies a Facebook Link

In my last post, I showed you how to edit link titles and descriptions in Facebook updates.

Let’s say you want to post a link-style update to your Facebook personal Timeline or brand page. When you paste the link into the Status Update field, Facebook automatically populates your update with a thumbnail-sized image (if the article you’re linking to has an image in it), along with the article’s title and a description.

These thumbnails can be blurry and hard to see. Before publishing the update, you can upload a nice, large photo to take the place of that thumbnail.

Here’s how:

1. Before clicking “Okay” to publish the update, click the Photo/Video link, located directly above the field where you typed in the original update/link.

You can then either attach a photo or video or create a photo album. I clicked “Attach Photo/Video.”

2. Click the “Browse” button to search your hard drive or flash drive for the image you’d like to use. I uploaded the full-size image that accompanied my blog post. (Images in my blog posts are usually 300 px wide; in this case, my image is 400 x 400 px).

3. After uploading the image, you can immediately post your update or schedule it for later publication. I recommend scheduling it, even if you plan to publish it within minutes. Scheduling allows you to preview the photo.

4. To schedule your post, click the clock icon in the lower lefthand corner of the update and select the appropriate year, month, day, hour, and minute you want to publish your update.

Click “Schedule.”

5. You’ll immediately see a pop-up alerting you that your post has been scheduled and prompting you to view it in your Activity Log. Click “View Activity Log.”

6. You’ll be able to view your update as it will display on your page. If you want to publish the update immediately, change the scheduled time, or delete the update, click the down arrow in the upper righthand corner of the update.

How to edit the image’s caption

The other advantage of uploading an image to accompany your post is that you can edit the “caption” that accompanies the image after the update is published.

To do this, click inside the picture on your published update and then click “Edit” to change the text, add a location, tag faces in the photo, or change the date published.

You can also access the photo editing options by clicking the “Photos” tab, located directly below your Timeline cover photo. Your photo stream will open; find the photo you want to edit and go for it!

BONUS TIP: How to reposition a photo in a Facebook update

After you publish an update, you may want to align it better within the space provided. Here’s a picture from my Facebook page that’s positioned poorly.

To reposition it, I clicked the pencil icon in the upper righthand corner of the update.

Next, I clicked “Reposition Photo…”

Then I dragged the photo around until it was positioned more advantageously (in this case, the photo was too large to do much with, but them’s the breaks).

When I was finished tinkering, I clicked “Save.” Facebook also gives you the option to revert the photo to its original position or to cancel the action.

Here’s my new and slightly improved picture position. I can see that I still have some experimenting to do in terms of appropriately sizing and positioning the images I upload to Facebook. My latest discovery is that one-column wide Facebook pictures should be 403x403px, and two-column wide pictures (highlighted or milestone images) should be 843x403px. I’m learning, right along with you!

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  • Dennis George

    It appears that you have to leave the text url in place if you want to use a different photo from what is available as a thumbnail from the linked article. I found that the new photo gets added nicely, but the original link is replaced with the photo. ??

  • Laura Christianson

    Dennis – Yes, if you want to continue to link to a particular web page, you need to leave the URL in the update itself. But you can upload any photo you wish to accompany that link. The original link that Facebook auto generates will get replaced by the picture, but if you make sure to leave the full URL in the update itself, people can still click on it. Thanks for pointing that out.

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