Does Facebook have a problem with HTTPS URLs in posts with images?

Images may fail to load or get replaced with random images when posting HTTPS links.

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Facebook Debugger
Facebook Debugger claims image is corrupted or has an invalid format.

Have you had any issues trying to get images to load for organic posts on Facebook? Search Engine Land editor Barry Schwartz noticed images were not loading — or were being replaced with random images — when creating organic posts with links to stories he had written.

“People were sharing my stories, but the images stopped sharing all of a sudden in the past couple days,” said Schwartz, “Turns out, in what’s likely a bug, Facebook doesn’t like images on HTTPS URLs. People stopped sharing my stories because Facebook was including a random image.”

The problem: A corrupted image or platform bug? When Schwartz ran the HTTPS links through Facebook’s Debugger tool, he got a notice claiming the images connected to the URLs may be corrupted or were an invalid format. A thread on Stack Overflow covering the same problem dates back to 2012, but with entries as recent as four months ago.

The fix: Implementing an HTTP link instead. According to the thread, users resolved the issue by using an HTTP URL instead of HTTPS. One entry on Stack Overflow claimed Facebook was aware of the problem and, at the time, was looking into it. “I ran into the same problem and reported it as a bug on the Facebook developer site. It seems pretty clear that og:image URIs using HTTP work just fine and URLs using HTTPS do not. They [Facebook] have now acknowledged that they are looking into this,” wrote Keegan Quinn in January 2012.

Why we should care. For brands already struggling to gain traction with organic content on Facebook, a glitch that removes or replaces images from posts is one more obstacle. With the Facebook debugger claiming the error is a corrupted file, marketers may not realize that the problem might not be the image, but perhaps Facebook’s issue with HTTPS links.

We’ve asked Facebook for a comment and will update this story if we get a response.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Amy Gesenhues
Amy Gesenhues was a senior editor for Third Door Media, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land, Search Engine Land and MarTech Today. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including MarketingProfs, SoftwareCEO, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy's articles.

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