How to clear Facebook's Open Graph cache

Clearing cache is something we regularly discuss with clients as so many forget to do it. We often take calls from clients saying they can’t see our changes or what we have done hasn’t worked and the simple reason is they didn’t clear their cache, which updates the changes. Once reminded, this is easy enough to do. What people find trickier though is clearing the Open Graph cache in Facebook.

You may have changed an image on a page, but Facebook has already crawled the page with the old image so when you post the url on Facebook, the image is not of the updated one. The same can happen with old open graph descriptions and this can be incredibly frustrating, especially as social media is so instant. The reason Facebook crawls the page is that the image shouldn’t really change - it is something that is expected to remain the same. In order to reflect the changes that you have made, you will need to clear the Open Graph cache.

What is Open Graph?

Facebook launched the Open Graph API in 2010, which lets you pull information in and out of Facebook. It allows people to interact with content on your site through tagging items as ‘objects’ - how people interact with it will be the ‘action’. For example, reading an article: reading is the action and the article is the object. Another functionality of Open Graph is its ability to be integrated into a sign-up process. With this, people can log in to a website using their Facebook credentials without having to be on Facebook itself.

How can the Open Graph cache be cleared?

Facebook has a helpful debugger tool that you can use to ‘scrape’ the URL - that means it gets rid of the old information, and it will collect the new information, so the correct version will now be displayed if you share a link on Facebook. Follow the steps below:

  1. Go to the debugger tool, paste the URL in the box and then click the debug button: https://developers.facebook.com/tools/debug/sharing/

    Open graph debugger example

  2. Click the ‘scrape again’ button

    Open graph scrape again example

You should see a preview of the link, showing that the image and description changes to whatever you updated them to. Now when you post the link to Facebook, this is what will appear!

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