How to Fix Broken YouTube Thumbnails on Facebook

How to Fix Broken YouTube Thumbnails on Facebook

Sharing your content is probably one of the best and fastest way to grow a community and a base of potential customers. Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and other social media platforms are some of the most common places to start pushing out pictures to the largest amount of people possible. However, when you get into video, you soon realize that sometimes things get a bit trickier. One of the issues I recently encountered was when sharing a YouTube video on Facebook, the thumbnail simply wouldn’t appear. In this article, I’ll show you how to solve this problem and what to do to avoid it in the future.

So you just uploaded your video to YouTube and want to share it on Facebook. However, you can’t get your beautiful thumbnail to show on Zuckerberg’s platform. Why is that? There can be a couple of reasons.

One of them and the most common is when you share the video on Facebook before it’s fully processed by YouTube. Even if you send it through Messenger before the processing is achieved, your thumbnail won’t work. The reason behind it is that Facebook loads the data from YouTube once it’s shared on the platform for the first time. So if you share the video through Messenger before all the data is ready, it’s going to be missing part of it, including the thumbnail.

Don’t worry though, it doesn’t mean you cannot share your videos right away with your friends. Keep your excitement alive, but only add one step in your workflow before sharing the video on your page or profile. It’s possible to force Facebook to fetch the data again from YouTube. To do so, go to Facebook's Sharing Debugger, paste your video link, click debug, and finally press Scrape Again.

Once Facebook has scraped the URL, your video will be displayed correctly when you or your friends share it. Note that this technique works for any page you share, no only Facebook. So if you share a blog post and the thumbnail doesn’t show, you can try this as well. The technique also works if you changed the thumbnail of a video and Facebook is showing the older one.

Do you encounter other issues when sharing your work on social media? If yes, be sure to leave a comment below so that we can come up with other articles to help you out and make your social media workflow easier, faster, and more efficient than ever.

If you're passionate about taking your photography to the next level but aren't sure where to dive in, check out the Well-Rounded Photographer tutorial where you can learn eight different genres of photography in one place. If you purchase it now, or any of our other tutorials, you can save a 15% by using "ARTICLE" at checkout. 

Quentin Decaillet's picture

Quentin Décaillet is a photographer and retoucher based in Switzerland specializing in portrait and wedding photography.

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Thank you. This thing drove me crazy !

I'm still encountering a problem when in this situation: I schedule videos to go public on a certain date. I also schedule posts in facebook that have links to the video. So when I create the post in facebook ahead of time to schedule for later and paste the youtube link, there's no preview (I'm assuming because it's still private in youtube until it goes live later). Then once it goes live at the scheduled time, and my facebook post goes live, it still doesn't have the preview. AFTER everything is live on youtube and facebook, if I do the debugger, it still doesn't update the post. Ideas? See screenshot of debugger showing the preview fine, but facebook still doesn't show it.

Hello! I went to Facebook's Sharing Debugger, pasted my video link, clicked debug, and got: "This webpage contains a blocked URL.Fetch latest information". I clicked Fetch latest information, and got the same reply. I can't even share that video to my FB page from Youtube, but I could perfectly share it on my Twitter account with YouTube Thumbnails. What is going on? Thanks in advance

Clicked Debug.
Clicked "Scrape again."
No change to the photo.
Facebook is reading the correct new thumbnail:
but that's not the thumbnail Facebook is using!
e.g. here
and also when I go to make another new post.

It fixed itself, 15 hours later.
Why the delay?

Hello, nice article. Unfortunately the suggestion didn´t work. Three hours ago I changed the title of my Youtube video. Two hours ago, I also changed the thumbnail. These changes were properly saved in youtube, and if you visit my youtube channel, the new title and thumbnail are visible. However, when I pasted the link of the video into FB, it only showed the new title but it did not show the new thumbnail. Instead, it showed the old thumbnail. I followed the advice of this article and went to FB´s debbuger site, pasted the youtube link, pressed ´Debug´, and ´Scrape Again´. However, when I pasted the youtube video link into facebook again, it STILL showed the old thumbnail. What is going on? Perhaps for a follow up to this article, you can add a section on what to do if the debugging and scraping doesn´t work, or at least a theory on why this may happen. Thanks.