This post is 50% rant, 50% a heads-up to the Facebook devs, and 50% mathematical enigma…
For a while now I’ve shared other people’s Facebook posts on my personal profile and noticed that some of them would show up as expected, while others would show up… differently. And by “differently” I mean incorrectly and therefore badly. I’ve just discovered why and how it happens: the issue is with sharing via mobile in particular.
Sharing on Facebook desktop vs Facebook mobile
When you share someone’s post, if they have written some text while sharing a link and you hit the ‘Share Now (Friends)’ option, you expect the whole lot to be shared: the text, the link, and it should say “Steve Morgan shared [original poster]’s post.” Like this:
This is how it works – on desktop. On mobile, Facebook strips the text and the “Steve Morgan shared…” bit, and only shares the link. Completely devoid of context. Here I am tapping ‘Share Now (Friends)’ on mobile…
…and here’s the end result:
I’m using an iPhone 7, currently on iOS 10.3.2, and the version of the Facebook iOS app is 132.0. Not that I think any of that matters, given that it’s been happening for a while (so I don’t think it’s iOS or app version specific).
It’s not just bog-standard posts that’s affected
At first I thought it was only normal post-sharing functionality that was affected. But I discovered the issue when I tried sharing an ‘On this Day’ post.
When someone gets to your website, it’s important that your contact form works, your email address and phone number are written correctly and your checkout process is working correctly (if you’re running an Ecommerce website). After all, you’ve worked hard to drive traffic to your website – you don’t want them bouncing at the final hurdle, affecting your conversion rate.
Clients/customers are one thing. Imagine if your visitors were contemplating suicide…
The other day, I noticed that the Samaritans’ phone number on their Contact page wasn’t working properly if you were on a mobile device and you were trying to use the tap-to-call function.
Their phone number is 08457 90 90 90. However, due to the asterisk immediately after the third “90” (which references a bit of small print talking about the cost of the call per minute), my iPhone wasn’t processing the number fully when using tap-to-call. Instead of the full number, it was picking 08457 90 90 – an incomplete and incorrect version of the phone number.
So I urge you all to check that your website’s phone numbers are working correctly from mobile devices. It might be worth checking from multiple devices – it might be the case that it’s fine on an iPhone but not working on an Android, so don’t just check one and assume that it’s fine across the board. Check them all if you can.
Just a quick post today based on a random discovery that I made over the weekend…
I was checking a SERP on behalf of my parents’ company (IT recruitment sector) from my phone simply because I didn’t have my laptop or tablet to hand. A search for "web developer job cardiff" showed the following:
Two things struck me as odd about the first result, which is first on both mobile and desktop searches. Firstly, the top result isn’t labelled ‘Mobile-friendly’ (any SEO who’s not been living under a rock will know that this is bignews at the moment), yet it’s ranking above two results that are. Secondly, having been on Indeed.co.uk’s website before, I was convinced that it was mobile friendly – so I clicked (or tapped) on it, and – as a matter of fact – it is:
Notice how the label next to Indeed.co.uk’s result shows ‘Jobs 1 – 10 of 370’ instead? I have a feeling that this rich snippet is overriding the ‘Mobile-friendly’ tag for this result – i.e. that Google is choosing to show the former instead of the latter (even though both are true)… which isn’t good for Indeed.co.uk (more on that below).