Lots of times, we all want to share only specific parts of YouTube videos. For example, if you want to share this clip from Game of Thrones, you’d have to bet that your audience would sit through six minutes of footage to get the point.
But if you share a timestamped YouTube link on Facebook, the default behavior of the link is to start at the beginning.
Timestamped Video: A timestamped video is a video that you share through a online platform, and expect to be dropped off at the *timestamped* part.
For example, if you shared the link for a twenty-minute YouTube video on Facebook and wanted to timestamp to 1 minute and 3 seconds, the link would look something like this.
But even if you shared that link on Facebook, it wouldn’t work properly. And that’s because Facebook does a 301 redirect for the shortlink, slicing out the query string of ?timestamp=63
Dont believe me?
Check out it in Facebook’s very own Facebook Debugger.Take this YouTube link into consideration. The link is the short url that YouTube provides you with so you can follow best sharing policies.
On Facebook, the link above resolves to a video link without the timestamped information. That’s because Facebook looks at all opengraph data is more important than other meta data. If it finds an open graph tag, it uses that value first, rather then the 302 redirect or canonical url.
That’s because Facebook looks at all opengraph data like it’s more important than other meta data. If it Facebook sees an open graph tag, it uses that value first, rather then the 302 redirect or canonical url.
So obviously, there is some serious sanitation going with this debugger, and on Facebook input in general, no surprise there.
What is surprising is that YouTube hasn’t come up with a way to automatically update their og:property tag, since it seems to be hard-coded into the html.
Which makes sense for a simple WordPress site like mine, but for a major CDN like the one YouTube uses, to not have that ability seems a little surprising is all.
So how can you fix it?
Its quite simple actually.
- Paste the short link in your url bar.
- Hit the enter key, and look at the new url that’s provided.
- Copy that exactly link, and share it on Facebook.
Here is a GIF showing the process, but for those who don’t want to wait, its just pasting the short link into your address bar, and then copying the full address that you get redirected to. Then paste a link like the following into your status update.
So that’s some reasoning as to why sharing timestamped YouTube links on Facebook doesn’t work by default. We cant know anything for sure since Facebook seems to do magical things to all user input, but alas, there is a simple solution.