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Where Do Link Preview Images Show Up?

January 30, 2023
 • Angela Noble
 • 3 min read

Link preview images show up on many more places than just social media platforms. The previews you see when you share a link are sometimes referred to as unfurling. These unfurled previews can give a helpful glimpse of what the shared webpage is all about.

Our past resources have covered optimal Open Graph image sizes, how to create and set up a social share preview image on your website, and of course how to check a link preview using our tool. Our Social & Search Previews Tool allows you to preview how your webpage will be displayed when shared on Twitter, Facebook, Slack, and LinkedIn. But where else do link preview images, or og images, display?

In this post, we’ll be compiling an on-going list of where we’ve seen links unfurl to display (or not display) a preview image. Have one to add? Let us know!

Preview Images In Collaborative Cloud Documents

Google Sheets

If you include a url hyperlink within a Google Sheet, a link preview will display on hover. In this example, no og image is set. So, Google Sheets is pulling in the first image on the page.

Google Docs

Google Docs also displays an image and other metadata on hover when a url hyperlink is included. Again, when no og image is set, the first image on the page is pulled.

Preview Images in Messaging Apps


Slack doesn’t appear to pull an image in if no og image is set. However, when an og image is specified, it will display in Slack messages.

Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger will display whatever image it finds if an og image is not set. 

In this top example, no og image is defined. It’s pulling in a very different image than Google Sheets and Google Docs found! In the bottom example, an og image is set.

Instagram Messages

Unsurprisingly, Instagram messages behave the same way as Facebook Messenger when displaying link previews.

We’re not sure where this funky image is being pulled from, but we do know the defined og image looks a lot better!

Preview Images In Cloud-Based Software

Cloud-based software platforms such as Trello and ClickUp display preview images.


Trello displays the og image if one is set, otherwise it shows the other metadata only. 


Clickup also shows the og image, but only displays text metadata otherwise.

Preview Images In Email


Microsoft announced in 2022 that it would be adding link unfurling in Outlook. Here’s a preview of our links without a defined og image (top) and with a defined og image (bottom). Outlook is pulling in the first image it finds when none is specified.

As of now, Google doesn’t support link unfurling in Mail. Apple Mail has their own link expansion function that actually opens and displays the entire linked webpage in a popup.


Zelolab’s Social & Search Preview tool doesn’t include checkers for all of these use cases. However, our site-wide checker will allow you to ensure all of the pages on your website have an og image set. That way, no matter where your webpage links are shared, a relevant image is always ready to display.

Preview Before You Share!

Try our Social Sharing Preview and Meta Tags Audit Tool, including previews for Twitter, LinkedIn, Google, and Slack.

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