Josh Beam's Website

Customizing Social Media Previews for Web Pages

July 1, 2020

I recently wanted to customize the preview that would be shown when sharing an article from my website through social media, and found that this can be accomplished by utilizing the Open Graph protocol. This is a standard that was created by Facebook and is also supported by other platforms, such as Twitter.

The Open Graph protocol defines meta tags that can be added to HTML documents to define attributes such as the title, a short description, and an image to appear as part of a preview. For example, here are the tags from my Triangle Rasterization article:

<meta property="og:type" content="website"/>
<meta property="og:url" content=""/>
<meta property="og:title" content="Triangle Rasterization"/>
<meta property="og:description" content="This article presents an algorithm for triangle rasterization,
a fundamental graphics rendering technique used in game development. It contains sample C++ code."/>
<meta property="og:image" content=""/>

To see how previews would appear for your web pages, you can use Facebook’s Sharing Debugger or Twitter’s card validator.