Chances are you’ve contributed to that massive number. What you may not have noticed, however, is a possible glitch that affects the loading of images in organic Facebook posts. (Note: it's unclear whether the same thing has been happening with paid posts.)
Some users have recently experienced errors in the loading of images they were including with their posts; some images simply weren’t loading, while others were being replaced with random, unrelated pictures.
An article in Marketing Land digs into this problem a bit deeper, announcing that it doesn’t seem like an error with the images at all, but rather, it’s a problem with how Facebook accepts HTTPS links.
How to fix your images
Users have turned to Facebook’s Debugger tool to check the HTTPS links, and the results claim either the images in the URLs are corrupted, or the format is not supported. It’s been noted that URLs using HTTP seem to work just fine, but URLs using HTTPS do not. According to an article from Rameerez, warnings that have been received include:
Inferred Property: The ‘og:image’ property should be explicitly provided, even if a value can be inferred from other tag.
Missing Properties: The following required properties are missing: og:url, og:type, og:title, og:image, og:description, fb:app_id
Can’t validate SSL Certificate: Either it is self-signed (which will cause browser warnings), or it is invalid.
Luckily, the solution is quite simple.
Instead of using a secure HTTPS URL, change the format to use HTTP. When posting the URL into the Facebook post box, just delete the “S” before publishing. This workaround has been confirmed by multiple users in a thread hosted by Stack Overflow.
Apparently, Facebook has been notified, and it has responded to the bug...back in 2012. It is not clear whether Facebook is currently working to resolve this issue.
Should marketers be concerned?
The short answer to this question is “yes.” Marketers should at least be cautious and aware — especially the 67% who consider Facebook their most important social media platform.
Gaining traction with organic content on a social platform as big as Facebook has its obstacles, and this only adds to the potential for frustration.
For companies who rely heavily on Facebook to showcase their brand, connect with their prospects and customers, and ultimately assist with the sales process, something as small as this bug can be detrimental to their success.
In fact, Facebook posts with images see 2.3x more engagement than those without images. This means your brand can be losing valuable shares, click-throughs, and overall awareness.
If you’ve recently experienced this issue and assumed it was due to the images you chose to post, you’re not alone. Since the Facebook Debugger has been claiming the error is a corrupted file, many users aren’t realizing that the problem is actually Facebook’s issue with HTTPS links.
Moving forward, ensure your post URLs are HTTP-formatted. Until Facebook solves for this bug (we have no idea when that will be), it’s important to protect your brand and overall professional appearance by keeping your posts polished and user-centric.