You might have seen plenty of Facebook posts, which might look like a Video or GIF, but when you click that, you’ll be redirected to a different link in your browser. Experienced that? Want to know how that works exactly?
Disclaimer: Writing this procedure just to let you guys know how this works, hopefully, you won’t misuse it in any way.
1) First get an image like this:
This is how GIF images look on Facebook right? But, wait, this is not a GIF image, this is just a screenshot of such a GIF. We are going to use this only. You can take a screenshot of an existing GIF image available on Facebook, and use Google Chrome (Inspect Element) to eliminate unwanted elements like the website name (left side) and open icon (right side). You can also take a screenshot of a Facebook video, but we feel GIF works much better for this.
2) After finalizing such an image, go to your blog, if it’s WordPress.org, then much better. Upload this image there and get the URL, here, it is:
3) Go to Facebook’s Open Graph Debugger and paste your image URL there. Click on “Debug”. If it’s not shared on Facebook before, then you’ll get an error like “This URL hasn’t been shared on Facebook before.” along with “Fetch new information” button. Click on that and fetch new information. That’s all you have to do here. As of now, this is just an image, so Facebook will see this as an image only, but we’ll be redirecting this image URL to a destination URL, which Facebook doesn’t know yet.
4) Now you have to edit your website’s .htaccess file. If you have installed Yoast SEO plugin, then you can go to Settings > Tools > File Editor > .htaccess file. Add this code:
redirect /wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Anne-Hathaway.png https://www.facebook.com/groups/MoviesDrop
Replace our image URL with your image URL and replace our destination URL with your destination URL.
Clear your cache, wait for a while and share your image URL (the one which looks like GIF) on Facebook, this is how it appears:
Now, what our folks do is, this looks like a normal GIF image right, so they’ll click on the play icon… but it won’t play, they’ll be redirected to a new tab which opens our MoviesDrop Facebook Group.
This is how it works, pretty simple yet we often get confused about the procedure. This won’t be permanent, I’m sure Facebook will find a way to fix this one way or another, but it works now. Facebook often updates their data about the links we share, so this might work for like 4-5 hours maximum… after that, the link will be changed.