A cautionary tale: test your links on multiple devices.
Today I’d like to talk about a problem that I recently encountered when distributing Facebook links, and my clumsy solution around it.
Last week I started posting content (that I’ve been working on a for a while) to a client’s Facebook page. I’m writing the business profiles that you see posted there over the past few weeks. Facebook is where they will collect and live, and I’ve been using Instagram and Twitter for distribution.
Once each post ended up on Facebook (like this one), I copied the link from within the mobile app and posted it to Twitter and Instagram with the photo.
I’ve since deleted any “bad tweets” from the account, but if you had clicked any link that were in them while on mobile it would launch the post in the Facebook app. If you clicked on it while on a computer, you got a “Page not found” error.
I had tested all links before posting, but only on mobile, so I was thankful to the person who informed me that they were broken on desktop. I’m glad I found out only five days into a 200-day project!
I also tried to get the link from desktop instead, and it would work fine if opened on desktop, but on my phone it would only launch the mobile version of the Facebook site. Everyone knows that mobile sites can be quite limiting compared to their app counterparts.
What I was hoping to find was a way to post a link, and whatever device you were on I wanted it to open “natively.” Unfortunately, none of the links I found would do this across all devices, and this was such a long-winded problem that I had trouble Googling a solution.
After a little playing around, I found a somewhat convoluted option that you may find helpful as well:
- On the Facebook desktop site, go to the post you want to share
- Depending on how you’re looking at the post there will be different ways to do this, but click on the “dropdown arrow” or Options
- Find Embed
- Click Advanced Settings
- On that page there is a box that says “URL of post” … the link in that box will open the post natively anywhere.
This method does take a little more work; you do have to be at a computer, it takes several clicks, and it can’t be automated, but doing it will ensure that your followers, visitors, and customers have a more seamless experience. Now they play nicely together.
I compared all the links I found to each other, and they’re all structured completely differently. I hope that the developers at Facebook will make the “cross-platform friendly” link more accessible in the future.
I haven’t found this solution anywhere else, but if you did please let me know. Also let me know if you found this helpful, or if you know a more elegant solution to my problem.
Thanks for reading!