When you paste a URL into the post creator on Facebook, X, or LinkedIn, you’ll likely see a preview of the link. This social share preview shows you how the preview of your web page will look when shared on that social media platform.
The wrong image, or no image at all, could impact your post’s performance on social media. Images play a big role in engagement, and data shows they help generate more likes, shares, and comments. On Twitter (now X), tweets that feature an image result in 150% more retweets.
Using Open Graph meta tags correctly helps you optimize your social media link previews. You can ensure your content stands out and viewers see exactly what you want them to.
What is OG?
OG stands for Open Graph. Open Graph is a protocol created by Facebook in 2010 to make sharing websites on their platform easier. Now, other social media platforms, including Twitter and LinkedIn recognize Open Graph meta tags. These tags determine how your shared link previews appear on social media. Understanding how they work will allow you to control how your website preview is displayed when you share it on social media.
Your web page’s title, one image, the URL, and a short description will typically be displayed in the preview. If your website doesn’t have OG tags in the code, the platform will do its best to find the right information. Typically, the featured image is the one thing that can’t be determined well without OG tags. OG image tags tell social networks which image to use.
Each social network has slightly different size requirements for their social share previews.
OG Images For Social Share Previews
OG Image Size for Facebook
While a ratio of 1.91:1 is well cited, most sources state to use an image sized to 1200×630 pixels. However, Facebook doesn’t state any sizes for the OG image in their documentation.
According to our tests, OG images for Facebook are cropped to 1200×626 pixels, still an aspect ratio of 1.91:1.
OG Image Size for LinkedIn
LinkedIn requires OG tags on shared web pages that include Title, Image, Description, and URL. They recommend images be 1200×627 pixels, a ratio of 1.91:1.
OG Image Size for X
X allows you to override the og:image tag with a different image by setting the twitter:image meta tag. If twitter:image doesn’t exist, the platform will use og:image.
Twitter’s own documentation says Summary Card image sizes for tweets should be an aspect ratio of 1:1 (square) and that images will be cropped to a square on all platforms.
However, according to our tests, they crop all images from shared links to 508x266px, a ratio of 2:1.04.
Additionally, we were unable to generate the OG image at all without posting twice. As in the screenshot above, we posted the link first and the link did not unfurl. Our second post did result in an unfurled link.
Solution: Use A Single Image with a 2:1 Ratio
Since the ratios used for each are similar, you could use the same image for all platforms to save time. Using a 1200×600 pixel image (2:1 ratio) will minimize the overall cropping that the platforms will do to your image. Just keep in mind a few pixels will be cropped off the top/bottom or left/right, depending on the platform.
Generate a Social Share Preview
There are many nuances to the way various platforms display social share previews. Be sure to test before you share your web page on social media.
You can easily generate social share previews for any URL using Zelolab’s free tool. Our tool generates previews for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google, and Slack. Plus it shows your raw meta tags.
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