Sometimes, after updating a post and sharing its link, you might find that the preview doesn’t show the correct image, title, or meta description. This issue arises due to an OpenGraph data cache update issue on the social media platform. The good news is, you can manually force an update.
For those eager to get straight to the solutions:
- Facebook cache clearing URL: Facebook Debugger
- Twitter (X) cache clearing URL: Twitter (X) Card Validator
- Linkedin cache clearing URL: Linkedin Post Inspector
Once you navigate to these tools, simply input the URL of the page you want to clear the social network cache for, and refresh the preview.
Updating the cache of a web page on social networks: how does it work in practice?
Updating the cache of a recently revised web page from your website and server might not prompt social networks to update their cache. Luckily, a very effective method exists to force an update of the cache on Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter: the use of each social network’s debugger tool.
Essentially, you will need to input the URL of your page into each debugger and request the respective social network to identify any problems or refresh the cache related to this web page. Below are the detailed steps for each social network.
1. Clearing the Cache of a Web Page Shared on Facebook
- Copy and paste the URL to test in the provided field
- Click on “Debug”
- Click on “Scrape Again”
Next to the “Scrape Again” button, Facebook provides the last crawled and updated timestamp by its crawlers.
If the timestamp is very recent, but your page still appears outdated, the problem probably lies on your end, not Facebook’s.
If the page has been altered but has never been shared on Facebook, you can check the preview generated with this debugging tool.
Note: Clicking on “Scrape Again” indeed updates the cache of future URL shares on the social network, but will not automatically update the cache of old shares.
If you’ve shared the old URL on your Facebook page, you can manually update the preview of the post as follows:
- Navigate to the URL linked with your page post (by clicking on the post date)
- Click on the three small dots at the top right
- Click on “Refresh Share Attachment”
- Click on “Save”
Once these steps have been followed, your page should correctly display its latest version to all Facebook users.
2. Updating the Cache of a Web Page on Twitter
If you want to update the cache and OpenGraph data of a web page so it displays and shares correctly on Twitter, you can use the Card Validator tool.
The cache updating procedure is even simpler here. Once the URL has been previewed by clicking on “Preview Card”, simply repeat the operation by clicking again on “Preview Card”.
If the second click on “Preview Card” doesn’t seem to make any difference, feel free to repeat the operation multiple times.
Note: Updating Twitter’s cache for a URL results in the automatic and near-instantaneous update of all publications containing this URL, so no need to worry about the correct update of the cache on all posts where the link has been shared, as is the case on Facebook.
3. Clearing the Cache of OpenGraph Data Related to a Web Page on LinkedIn
LinkedIn also provides an online tool, the Post Inspector, to inspect URLs and automatically update the cache of associated OpenGraph data.
Its operation is almost identical to Twitter’s Card Validator, but doesn’t require a second click. Just inspecting a URL will automatically update the cache associated with it across LinkedIn.
Note: Updating the LinkedIn cache for a URL results in the automatic and near-instantaneous update of all old publications containing this URL.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Should I Regularly Clear the Cache?
Caching is a common practice in computer systems to expedite processes and decrease processing time. When you visit a website, the browser caches (stores) images, text, and other data for quicker access on subsequent visits. However, over time, the cache can grow large and outdated.
The continuous accumulation of cached data can lead to slow performance and potential security risks if the data contains sensitive information from previous sites.
Therefore, it’s crucial to regularly clear the cache to maintain system performance and safeguard your security. Some apps, like banking websites, even require you to clear your cache for proper functioning.
The optimal way to clear the cache is through your web browser settings or by using one of the many free programs specifically designed for this purpose.
Even though clearing the cache can momentarily slow down web browsing as new files are downloaded to the cache on subsequent visits, it’s a small price to pay for better system performance and safer browsing sessions.
What’s the Difference Between Clearing Cache and Clearing Data?
Clearing the cache is a technique to aid your device in running smoothly and efficiently. It erases any stored data that’s no longer needed, freeing up space and making room for new advancements. It doesn’t permanently delete personal information or documents, but rather “refreshes” the device for more efficient operation.
Data deletion, on the other hand, is the process of permanently removing files from your device. This action can have consequences since no backup exists after deleting the file. But, deleting data can help free up disk space by getting rid of files that are no longer needed or are taking up significant space. Though deleting data cannot be undone like clearing cache, it’s still a powerful tool for freeing up memory and neatly organizing essential documents.