In this article I tell you why you see your photo metadata in Facebook, how it got there from your computer, how to control that in future uploads, and how to change or remove the metadata you see next to a photo on Facebook.
Note: Since this article was written, Facebook has sometimes disabled the behavior described in this article. If Facebook is not importing image metadata at the time you read this, you can go to a question posted in the Facebook Help Center about this: Metadata on Photos. You can vote up the question and add your own comment.
Why are you seeing photo metadata in Facebook?
It used to be that when you uploaded a photo to Facebook, all of the EXIF and IPTC metadata embedded in the photo was ignored. Facebook would strip out information such as the caption, the copyright notice, and keywords (such as names of people) you might have entered using your photo editor or digital asset manager.
Fortunately, Facebook has improved how it treats image metadata, and it’s now slightly friendlier to content owners like you and me. If you filled in a photo’s caption before uploading, Facebook now displays that as its default Description for the photo, so you don’t have to enter the caption again. Facebook now pulls in the Copyright field too. It adds the copyright information to the end of the Description, which is a little strange. No other image metadata is recognized that I know of so far. (Update: After I wrote this post, I found out that if there is text in a photo’s Title field, Facebook takes that too, and inserts it at the beginning of the caption.)
In the example below, I entered text into the Description (caption) and Copyright fields in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom before uploading the image to Facebook. The example shows how the photo and its metadata appear in the image lightbox view in Facebook immediately after uploading. (The example shown is from a basic export-and-upload; I haven’t tried this yet with the Facebook Publish Service in Lightroom. Also, metadata display doesn’t seem to work with photos you post on your wall, only to albums.)
Given the controversies about Facebook and content ownership, the prominence that Facebook now gives to the original embedded copyright notice is encouraging, particularly when taken together with Facebook’s revised Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (“You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook…”). It would be nice, though, if Facebook handled copyright information as other photo-sharing sites do, by displaying the copyright notice in its own area instead of cramming it into the caption field.
Be aware that even though Facebook copies the caption and copyright information into the Description, Facebook still strips all that metadata from the image itself—you can’t recover that info by downloading the image you uploaded. Put another way, if someone clicks the Download link for a photo you uploaded to Facebook, the image Facebook provides will have none of the metadata you originally uploaded, even if that information is seen next to the photo on Facebook. After Facebook brings in the image and its metadata, it keeps the image and displays the caption and copyright, but still throws out the actual metadata. If you’re concerned about keeping copyright information attached to your photos even after being downloaded from Facebook, you may want to add a visible watermark to your photos.
If you don’t want to display the copyright notice in the Facebook caption field (maybe you already watermarked the image itself, or they’re just personal snapshots where a copyright notice in every caption seems excessively formal), you can edit the album right after uploading it to Facebook and the caption field of every uploaded photo; or you can remove unwanted metadata before you upload, as described below.
Where do you enter a copyright notice and description/caption on a computer, before uploading to Facebook?
You can embed descriptive information into photos by using photo organizing software. Basic software, like the kind that comes with your computer, may let you embed a caption and possibly keywords (tags) such as the names of people. In comparison, professional photo-organizing software lets you embed a much longer list of metadata types including copyright and licensing information.
In Photoshop, choose File > File Info to inspect and alter the metadata for an image.
Using File Info in Photoshop is not an efficient way to edit metadata for multiple images because you have to open and edit each image individually. For bulk changes, it’s much easier to browse to the images in Adobe Bridge (which comes with Photoshop), select multiple images, and enter your metadata using the Metadata panel. That will update all selected images instantly. In Lightroom, use the Metadata panel in the Library module to edit the metadata of many selected images at once. Using software like Bridge or Lightroom, you can prep the metadata for an entire Facebook photo album very quickly.
Adobe Photo Downloader (which comes with Photoshop and is launched from Bridge) and Lightroom also let you set a default metadata preset to apply to images as they come in from the card in the first place. By automatically setting metadata fields your way as you import images from any card, you can greatly reduce the amount of time you need to bulk-edit the metadata later.
Editing info added by your camera
Some cameras insert something in the caption of every photo. The classic example is that there are thousands of photos across the Internet that have an automatic caption saying “OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA”. If your camera is always adding information you’d like to change, first try editing it in the camera. For example, many cameras have a menu setting that lets you enter the name of the creator (you) or a copyright notice.
Below is an example of how the Canon EOS 7D camera lets you control what information the camera embeds into every photo you take. It’s embedded as standard IPTC metadata that you can see and edit in the software mentioned above.
If you own a 7D and want to know where this is, press the Menu button on the back of the camera, go to the third yellow menu and scroll down to Copyright Information, the fourth command down.
If you can’t change metadata added by the camera, after you transfer photos to your computer you can use a program like Lightroom or Bridge to edit the metadata fields. In those applications, you can also make a preset that empties fields you want to prevent from being uploaded to a web site like Facebook, or fills the fields with whatever data you want. If you erase any fields, it’s best to do that to the JPEG copies you export for upload to Facebook, not to originals where you want to keep all the metadata you meticulously entered.
How can you stop Facebook from displaying metadata embedded in photos?
Facebook doesn’t seem to have any options that control how photo metadata is imported when you upload images. If you don’t want certain metadata to show up on Facebook with your photos, you have to remove the unwanted metadata from those image files before you upload them to Facebook.
In Photoshop, the File > Save for Web dialog box provides a convenient Metadata menu that lets you include different levels of metadata in an exported image and exclude the rest. Choose None if you want to suppress all metadata, or one of the Copyright options if you want those to show up on Facebook.
Lightroom 4 has a similar option in its File > Export dialog box. (In Lightroom 3, the option is called “Minimize Embedded Metadata“.) As with Save for Web, choose “None” if you don’t want the copyright notice and caption to appear in Facebook.
On the other hand, if you entered a caption for a photo and it isn’t showing up on Facebook, make sure you selected one of the last two “All…” options in the metadata menus shown above.
If you want more detailed control over including or excluding specific metadata items with an exported image, take a look at Jeffrey’s Metadata Wrangler, a plug-in for Lightroom.
How can you remove or change the metadata already uploaded with a Facebook photo?
As I mentioned earlier, when you upload a photo, Facebook copies title, description, and copyright metadata into the descriptive fields on the Facebook page, and then they create a copy of the photo with all the metadata removed and they display that. So while there’s nothing left to remove in the photo file, you can edit whatever Facebook entered into the photo’s description.
It might not be obvious how to do that because there’s nothing labeled “description” on a single Facebook photo, so here’s how. To edit a Facebook description for a single photo, click the Edit text next to a photo (where it says “Like • Comment • Share • Edit”). That opens the field where you can change or remove the description, tags, and location, as shown in the first picture in this article.
You’ll often find it more convenient to edit descriptions of all photos on a single page. To do this, when you’re viewing the album, click Edit Album, then click Edit Photos to open the page where you can edit the metadata for multiple photos at once.
Note: Thanks to your comments, I revised this article to cover more about how to control photo metadata on Facebook.
Great article. I’ve been looking everywhere about this matter. Luckily I found your article. I have a few question though and I really hope you can answer them.
First, is the description came from the camera that I’m using or the Photoshop application that I used to edit the photos?
Second, do you know if how to disable this pre-defined caption on facebook as I’m tired of removing them one by one.
Hi Emmy, those are great questions, so I added a section to my post to answer them in more detail. But here are some quick answers:
Usually, you add the description in your photo editor, such as in File Info shown above. But even if you never touch that, some cameras always put something in the Description/Caption field automatically; like the “OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA” example I mentioned in the post.
Many cameras let you set up a Copyright field in the camera itself, and remember, that’s the other source that Facebook pulls from. If you are positive nothing is being added to the Description/Caption field at any point, maybe your camera is filling in the Copyright field. Check your camera’s setup menus to see if there’s a Copyright option and see what’s in it. You can decide to leave it blank, but at the cost of not having copyright information embedded in every photo you take.
If there’s no way to stop this in your camera and you have a bulk photo editor such as Adobe Bridge (which comes with Photoshop) or Lightroom, you can select multiple images and delete the contents of their Description/Caption field all at once, by using the Metadata panel. Unfortunately, some photo editors such as Apple iPhoto and Google Picasa don’t let you edit captions for more than one photo at a time.
I don’t know how to turn off automatic metadata display in Facebook; I haven’t found a way so far.
Thank you for your answers. I finally found the source of the problem. Turned out I edited the copyright section in my Canon 550d when I first bought the camera. I almost forgotten about this matter since before this I didn’t have the same problem when uploading the pictures to Facebook.
Thanks for the tips to use Bridge to solve the problem. Will definitely use that next time.
I just wish that Facebook have a solution to disable this function. I mean the function is great for the copyright issue, but just not for all the pictures I uploaded.
Thank you again 🙂
Hi Emmy, here’s what I’ve decided to do for my images, in case you find it useful.
Since I do want my copyright information embedded in all my images, I’m going to continue to have my cameras set up to include it automatically, so that it’s in all my originals.
When I want to upload images to Facebook, after I’m done exporting the Facebook copies, I will select just the Facebook copies in Bridge or Lightroom and apply a metadata preset that empties any fields I want to empty. You can create, apply, and manage metadata presets from the menu you get by clicking the top right corner of the Metadata panel in the Bridge CS5 screen shot above.
This way, I get to keep copyright information inside every original, yet copies destined for Facebook still show up the way I want them to on Facebook, by running them through that extra pass in Bridge. Using a preset means it takes just a couple clicks to fix all selected images.
That is a very useful tips indeed. I will keep that in mind the next time i’m uploading my pictures. Thanks conrad.
This is great information. However, if someone tries to download a photo, the copyright information is stripped out. I see the copyright info as I edit my album, so I know it is there. But the downloaded copy has no copyright.
Any ideas on how to get it to stay there?
Hi Diane, as I mentioned in the article, “…even though Facebook copies the caption and copyright information into the Description, Facebook still strips all that metadata from the image itself—you can’t recover that info by downloading the image you uploaded.” Unfortunately, I can’t find any control over that.
While you can see your copyright info in the album, that doesn’t mean it’s still part of the image file. Remember: You are seeing it in the caption field. That’s not where copyright info would normally be seen in any other program. Facebook moved it there, copying it out of the image when you imported it, and then probably discarded your original. So what you are probably seeing is copyright info that’s been permanently separated from the original image, and next to that, you’re seeing Facebook’s copy of your original image. (It’s also been observed that images on Facebook don’t quite look as good as what they uploaded, so many people think Facebook displays a recompressed copy of the uploaded image. This would also support the idea that Facebook always makes its own copies and discards the originals.) Also, because Facebook moved the copyright notice into the caption, it can be deleted very easily; all you have to do is edit the captions.
What seems to happen when you upload (I don’t know if this is technically accurate) is that at the moment Facebook receives your image, it takes the metadata and puts it into the Facebook caption field, and then makes its own copy of the image that doesn’t have any of the original metadata. It looks like there is currently no way to download Facebook copies of our images that include our original metadata, and the only way to change that is to get Facebook to change how they store images. Facebook probably won’t change that until they hear from many photographers who dislike their strange treatment of metadata. (As I said in the article, the way Facebook displays metadata is not consistent with how most photo sharing services do it.)
Wish I had a better answer, but that’s the way it seems to work!
My apologies for reading over your article quickly, you did mention that. I guess it’s up to all photographers to contact Facebook and make a fuss.
how do you put sentences on pics on facebook
Hi Andrea, if you’re wondering how to add a caption to a picture that you already uploaded to Facebook, look below the photo in Facebook for a line of text that says “Like Share Comment Edit”. Click Edit and the caption field will become active, and then you can enter a sentence into it. When you’re done, click Save.
If you’re asking how to add a caption to a picture before you upload it to Facebook, type a sentence into the Caption or Description field in your photo editing software, as I described in the article.
merci pour l’info 😉
This is good news but if you look at the Rights and Responsibility agreement in detail it can be said that facebook is granted co-copyright on any content uploaded by users. this is the scary part. check this out. a excerpt from their user agreement contract …..
“For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.”
This is why anything i post on facebook, i delete after a week or so. The safest way to safeguard your photos for being used beyond your control is to not upload at all.
Regarding “…you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License).”
That language is on every (legal) sharing site. Granting the site a license is necessary for them to have permission to show copies of your images on any computer in the world, and to store them on servers they don’t own such as Amazon S3 or other data centers they contract out to.
Some site TOSs don’t even state that the license will end; at least Facebook says they give up their license when you delete your content. However, where Facebook could improve their terms is to be more specific about how they use your content. For example, the TOS for Smugmug has similar language but adds “…as is reasonably necessary to display the User Content, provide the Services and to facilitate, at Content Owner’s direction, the license of Photos or the sale of Products on the Site.” That self-limiting language makes it clearer that the license is not open-ended permission to use your content for whatever they want. It would be good for Facebook to add similar language if they want to reinforce the impression that they’re not after a rights grab.
Regarding “…it can be said that facebook is granted co-copyright on any content uploaded by users.” (I am not a lawyer but) Legally the idea of co-copyright doesn’t exist. The way it works (in the USA) is you exclusively own the copyright unless you specifically give it up, but you can license the content exclusively to one entity or non-exclusively to any number of others. But their license is never equal to your copyright.
I think your strategy of uploading sparingly and deleting stuff later is a very sensible approach. But I don’t think it’s because of Facebook terms. I think what that really does is protect your content from Facebook’s users who, like the larger Internet, don’t really pay attention to intellectual property terms and feel free to take anything they see.
Reblogged this on ZippyHydra.
Hi Conrad, I don’t know if this has changed since you wrote this article, but it seems that (as of Feb 2012) if you enter a description of the photo as you upload it, that text will replace the copyright info that would have otherwise gone there. If you leave the description blank, the the copyright goes in. Doesn’t seem to be a one-step way to get both your custom description and the embedded copyright info in at once.
Hi Chris, nice to hear from you! When you say “enter a description as you upload it,” if you mean in the intermediate dialog box you see while photos are uploading, I’m able to select and edit specific description text without deleting other text, such as the copyright info, and it made it all the way into the gallery that way. If I misinterpreted what you meant, let me know.
Hello Conrad. Thanks for responding on Nov 18th to my comment. For some reason i just got the response. anyway thank you for taking the time. we have to be careful about keeping our stuff out there. Now there is Pinterest, tomorrow some other new start up. A lot of companies / people getting rich off of flowing others content into different areas in the guise of internet entrpreneurialship and a bunch of end users that don’t see the harm in posting creations that aren’t theirs. I think the lack of understanding and respect towards copyright is a result in a educational system failure at the grade school level. Copyright protection was set up by the founding fathers of the US Constitution within the first 1500 words. IT dates back that far and is a big part of the foundation of this country. Its was set up to benefit the cultural advancements of this country by keeping profit incentive available to authors of new work. It was felt that if pirates would consume new works upon creation, then quality productions of craft and value would cease to exist. How many school kids know this detail about the Constitution? But the general population just see it all as fun and games. when in doing so they are infringing on the basic rights of individuals that create work. I make photos for a living and i charge fees based on a licensing model. Making money on my craft has allowed me to get better and better throughout my career. Its my livelihood. Simply put, pay the artist. Pay the craftsman. Pay the engineer, producer, the editor, cinematographer, the grip, the gaf, the payroll staff, the accountant, the studio manager, makeup artist. We are dealing with intellectual property that takes effort and mass to produce in a capitalistic society. We all need to eat and i am fed up with people that steal from others that need to sell those goods to buy food, pay rent and buy gear to keep producing the content everyone enjoys to consume. These internet companies, that create and bring to market sharing sites, are really just there to traffic and distribute content that they have no legal right in doing so. They house the infrastructure that makes the copying / transferring technically possible and they reap profits through ad space. Even if there wasn’t monetary gain, its still technically wrong to do.
I was very interested to read this article, as I never knew this was possible.
Alas, trying it out though, it seems it has changed again, as of late April 2012.
I just shot some images using my GPS based camera.
I then used Downloader Pro to copy the images over to my PC, and in the process, used it’s IPTC Tool to add Title, Description, and Copyright Info.
I can confirm this stage worked fine, as when viewing the images in Picasa, the Info field correctly showed the Copyright info I had added, and the title appeared as Captions in Picasa, which is how it handles them.
I further checked this by examining the image properties within Windows Explorer itself on Windows 7, and sure enough, the Title/Caption appeared correctly as the Title field in Windows Explorer.
This confirms the metadata is there, in the correct locations it should be.
I then went to Facebook, created a new photo album, and uploaded these five images.
And on doing so, nada, zilch, nought, nothing… I could see straight away it hadn’t worked as Facebook’s new uploader process shows the images now as a grid, with the Description field underneath each as they load, and these were blank.
When they were all completed, I viewed the images, and alas indeed, the Title, Description, and Copyright, were all none-existent for all images.
So it would seem, unless I am doing something very wrong, that since Facebook moved over to its new Upload Process recently, they also stopped respecting/using existing metadata, to label and caption images…?
Anyone else seeing this?
Facebook, you SUCK. Chopping and changing for changes sake, never for Progress’s sake…
As a PostScript to the above, I tried uploading using a tool called “Bloom” too, as it’s specifically stated that this sends the metadata to Facebook. Alas, that never worked either, AND uploaded images that were not in the Original size either. So I’d say this is certainly a Facebook change for the worse…
Well done Facebook!
Hello! I am having trouble with my pictures as well, both uploading to Facebook and Shutterfly. When I upload to Facebook it also displays the camera image code (DSC1234). From reading your article, I have discovered how to click “edit album” and change each one of them individually. I have not figured out how to change this before uploading, so I will not have to change each one individually. Also when I changed it and added a description, it carried over to my Shutterfly upload, meaning the description that I added to the picture in Facebook was still there beside the photo (instead of the DSC1234) when I uploaded it to Shutterfly. Therefore when I changed the description in FB it changed it in my iphoto as well. Can you help please?
Hi Jen, it sounds like you’ve connected iPhoto to Facebook and Shutterfly, right? From what I can tell, if you’re using iPhoto you can select a photo, click the Info button at the bottom, and then in the Info panel that appears on the right, you can click “Add a description…” and type a caption. Or you can replace a description that’s already in there. (However, it looks like iPhoto doesn’t let you select multiple photos and enter a caption for them all at once.) After you do that, the caption should be uploaded to Facebook and other web sites.
Another part of your question is about why it changed for Shutterfly after you edited them in Facebook. Here’s my guess about that. With most programs, once you edit a photo in Facebook, there’s no way to bring those changes back to your computer; however, I think the one exception is iPhoto. For some reason, Apple and Facebook seem to have a special deal between them so that iPhoto can sync Facebook changes back to your Mac. (Many wish this was possible with the other programs they use!) What I think might have happened is that after you changed a photo description in Facebook, it got synced back down to iPhoto, and then when you then uploaded that photo to Shutterfly, the new description went with it.
In the future, I think what you’ll want to do before uploading to Facebook and other sites is to prepare the descriptions of your photos in iPhoto using the Info panel, as I described in the first paragraph. Then just be aware that changes you make in Facebook may sync back down to your iPhoto library.
After looking at a number of sites, this seems to be the most appropriate place to enter my question, as it deals with Lightroom (LR) AND facebook (FB) together:
I have used this method to enter my copyright info to FB photos, but now I want to add some text into the description as well. Can anyone tell me how to enter a line break into LR’s ‘Caption’ field, such that FB will read it as a line break. Entering a line break in LR (using Ctrl+Enter) does not translate across when uploading to FB, nor do a number of other tags I tried, e.g. the line break tag.
In FB, you can manually edit the description and enter a line break by hitting Shift+Enter, however this does not help when trying to automate the process. I have found a workaround, by entering something into the LR ‘Title’ box, then another line into the ‘Caption’ box; this also doesn’t help if you want more than one break.
An example of what I would like to display in FB:
Enjoying these photos? (break here)
Like the page: http://www.facebook.com/pagenamehere (break here)
New photos each week (break here)
Copyright info(taken from LR automatically)
Any suggestions would be most appreciated. Thanks very much!!
Unfortunately, this is more complicated than it might seem at first.
In my experience on a Mac, typing Option-Return in Lightroom creates a line break that survives all the way to Facebook. However, Facebook always puts the copyright notice at the end of the last line of the caption and without a line break, even if I tried to give it space by entering line breaks at the end of the caption field in Lightroom.
And that is a big part of the problem. Even if the data is properly entered into the image, Facebook tends to do its own thing that’s out of your control. For example, while you can successfully have line breaks in the Facebook description, those line breaks are removed when the description appears next to the photo when it’s shown in other parts of Facebook, such as the News Feed where all description lines are run inline into a single paragraph. This also means that there is no space between the last character of one line and the first character of the next line, so I now add a period and space just before any line break so that it still reads properly when the line breaks are removed. You simply can’t count on how Facebook will interpret, reuse, and republish the data you give them, and even if you get it right once, chances are it will change over time.
I hope someone can suggest a solution that can overcome all of the issues.
Hi! Great article. I found it googling for a question and though it doesn’t answer exactly to what I was looking for I learnt several new things for me.
I have put the copyright symbol and my name in the copyright field in Lightroom, as you explain here. However, when I export a picture and upload it to facebook it writes like a capital S insted of the symbol.
It is like turning ©2012 My Name into Š2012 My Name.
What symbol should I write down?
Hi Gael, I’m not sure exactly what’s going on there. I have seen instances where the copyright symbol became corrupted on other websites, and didn’t know the cause then either. But to try and figure out an answer or a workaround for you, here are a few questions.
Are you on OS X or Windows?
What’s the exact method you use to enter the copyright symbol into Lightroom?
How are you uploading the photos to Facebook? Using Facebook itself in a web browser (if so, which browser), using the Lightroom Publish Service for Facebook, an uploading utility, or something else?
I’m just wondering if your problem can be fixed by changing one of those variables. Something might be messing with the character encoding.
Thanks a lot for your answering so quickly. Didn’t thoguht of such a large amount of possibilities. I just copied the symbol from somewhere and made a preset. I have just tried to rewrite the symbol pressing Alt+0169 but it does the same.
I’m on Windows, LR3 and uploading using the browser through facebook uploader.
I’ll keep on searching and let you know 😉
Hi, I’m having the same issue. I am on Windows, using Adobe Bridge CS4 and inputting the copyright symbol (©) into the Copyright Notice field in the IPTC Core section of the metadata. I typically upload the images straight to Facebook through the browser (and I’ve tried Chrome, Firefox, Safari, IE, Opera), but I have used other upload utilities and have had the same result.
I have tried every possible method of inputting the copyright symbol into Bridge that I can think of. I have used the keyboard shortcut, copied and pasted from other places such as the Character Map and even directly from a correctly displayed copyright symbol on Facebook, and I have tried using about 30 different fonts. None of this has worked.
Everywhere else I post my photos (Flickr, Smugmug, 500px) the copyright symbol shows correctly, but not on Facebook.
Anyone have any idea why?
I recently made the switch from ACR to LR4 and can’t seem to get the copyright metadata to upload with the photo to FB anymore. I looked over this article and instructions, I’ve got the metadata there in the file – any idea what I could be doing wrong?
Or maybe it’s that FB changed? I just tried uploading an older file I had edited in ACR and the metadata copyright info did not upload…
Hi Posy, I just tried uploading a Lightroom-exported JPEG to a Facebook album, and Facebook still brought in multiple fields like Title, Description, and Copyright.
Just curious, are you posting the photo directly to your wall (Wall Photos) or to an album? I think that can make a difference.
When you say the metadata is in the file, how are you verifying that it’s in the exported file? Here are a some ways to make sure. After you export the JPEG out of Lightroom:
1. View the JPEG in a program other than Lightroom, such as Adobe Bridge or Phase One Media Pro, and inspect the metadata. Apple Preview can also show this if you choose Tools > Show Inspector. On Windows, I think it’s in the Properties.
2. If the other programs show that the metadata is not in the JPEG, and you know the metadata is definitely entered in Lightroom, that might mean the Metadata setting is set to None in the Export dialog box in Lightroom as I showed in the post. Double-check that, and if it needs to be changed, export the image again and then upload again.
3. If the metadata is in the JPEG but it doesn’t appear in the caption when uploaded to Facebook, I’m not sure what’s going on, since it’s still working for me. Of course, Facebook sometimes does change things around…
Good luck and if you find out why, let me know!
So you’ve got it! It no longer works if I post it directly to my wall (it did as of last week) but it works if I upload it to an album, which means when my clients upload albums the copyright info will show up, which is what I was most concerned with. Thank you for your help!
You’re welcome, glad we figured it out! Yeah, originally the title of this article didn’t say “in photo albums,” but when I noticed that Facebook wasn’t reading metadata for photos posted to the wall, I had to change the title to be more specific. That was last year, so I was surprised that you said it was working on the wall last week. Could have been Facebook tweaking things.
FYI – I don’t think I see this mentioned above, but wanted to add this in.
If the TITLE field has data, FB uploads and displays the TITLE before the caption, and does not show the FILENAME. If the TITLE field is null, FB shows the FILENAME (I’ve added the word FILE as a prefix to my filenames so the reader knows that the code is a filename).
I do not have data in the COPYRIGHT field, but I do have data in the SOURCE field. FB loads the data from the SOURCE field and appends it directly after my caption (without a line break). I’ve added the prefix ‘source’ to my data to help the readability.
FB does not bring in the location data from the IPTC fields (Country, State, City, Location). Or the EVENT DATE.
Its great that Facebook is now allowing Metadata to be included even if it is limited. But as a pro what annoys me is the fact that the user is given the option delete this information. You would think in this day and age Facebook of all companies would not allow a copyright field to be edited or deleted. I pass my images to brides who upload them to Facebook, if they delete my copyright and URL link that’s in my Metadata, it distroys my advertising to all the uses who view it. Editing copyright terms should not be allowed.
Thanks this was helpful.
Thanks to all, this is a great string of discussion, I just discovered. I am hoping in the near future FaceBook will also display (1) metadata of video and audio files, and (2) maps of geotagged documents.
Great discussion. Is there a way to enter copyright information to 5000+ photos already posted to Facebook other than changing the description field one at a time?
Hi Martin, I don’t know of an easy way to edit Facebook description fields in bulk, especially for thousands of photos spread across multiple albums.
In software that can manage a Facebook album directly, like Apple iPhoto or using the Publish service in Adobe Lightroom, it may be possible to do bulk replacements of images. Although some software might require that those Facebook albums were created by that software in the first place, not by uploading directly with Facebook.
Also, what happens when you use non-Facebook software to replace images on Facebook is not always consistent. I think I’ve seen things like some software replacing the photo but not changing the Description field, or replacing a photo might lose any comments or Likes connected to the original photo. If you do have non-Facebook software that can manage Facebook galleries and you want to see how well it works to update them, definitely run some image replacement tests on experimental Facebook galleries that you’ve set to be visible only to you.
Thanks very much, wonderful information! The frustrating part about all of this is, this never happened before. It’s happening now to some images, I’ve uploaded, not all. They all have the same data in the image, but only some images show the name of the camera in place of the description I put in FB. Also, in FB Groups, you can not edit your post. So once it is there you’re stuck with it. Why is this happening now, and why to only some of the images? Also, I know people that hardly know how to turn a computer on, and I certainly know they are not editing metadata on their computer, in photos or on facebook and it is NOT happening to them. Very frustrating.
I have also noticed this has just started happening this last week or so. If the metadata field ‘Copyright’ is populated on the file then when I post the photo to FB any comments/description that I add to the FB upload are not shown above the image – only the contents of the copyright field is shown. You have to click on the image in order to see the description.
I cannot find any FB setting to change this behavior.
Thank you for this article. Most helpful!
Reblogged this on artboy68.
As a followup – today I emailed an image to a buddy and had him post it to the same group – when I post it the ONLY copyright metadata appears above the image, when he posts it – only his description appears above the image.
So it is something that has recently changed on my FB account. Photos I posted 2 weeks ago were fine and when I look at the jpg that LR created back then the meta data is identical to the metadata LR is putting on my jpgs today. In fact if I repost a 2 week old image I have the same issue – only the copyright metadata shows above the image, but two weeks ago the photo description I tyoed into FB appears……This is really frustrating.
I believe I have discovered the issue. After having narrowed the issue down to my FB account I began digging and found there was a FB App installed called “FinePix Uploader”. I removed the app and my problem went away. What a relief.
Thanks for posting back with more information! It sounds like FinePix Uploader is probably related to the FinePix line of cameras by Fuji. If you have a Fuji camera, the software probably came with it. It’s certainly possible that FinePix Uploader doesn’t completely support image metadata, or at least that’s my guess. If that’s true, it wouldn’t be too surprising, because support for metadata in consumer photo software is not as comprehensive as it is in professional photo software.
Fb use to put my metadata created in lightroom up, but for the last few days it isn’t. I’ve been through my lightroom & nothing has changed – why isn’t the metadata showing anymore?
Hi Lexi, I don’t know. Another reader wrote me about the same thing today, and when I tested it the metadata was missing for me too, which surprised me. That’s why I added the “Note” near the top of this post.
It looks like Facebook changed something, but there’s been no notice of it that I know of. Then again, Facebook never originally documented that they were displaying metadata either. I guess we’ll have to wait and see if Facebook restores the old behavior. There don’t seem to be any new settings in the uploader to control it.
Hi, I just wanted to say I’ve found the same issue with FB no longer showing my copyright info on new uploads in the last week. Maybe they’re now concerned that work going into posts maybe not be the copyright of the person uploading them? Be nice if they explained why they do this stuff, but I suppose they owe me nothing.
Its important to watermark your images with “© name” over the entire image. With the way the world is working these days and because of Orphan Works your work can be used by someone else if its documented they couldn’t contact or didn’t know who the owner of the work is. SImply putting just a byline at the bottom of the image isn’t as effective because a screen capture or a cropping out can cleanse the owner’s name from the work. IF its watermarked as a overlay then you are much more protected. IF someone is stupid enough to infringe on a works that has a watermarked “©” then they have whats coming to them, no way can they cry innocent infringement of Orphan Works. Also bulk copyright registration of a body of work for a flat fee of 30.00 through the US Copyright Office is the way to go.
Great blog post, thanks for the Info 😀
Hi, I used to edit photo caption off-line using Picasa, and then upload the photos to my facebook album with all the captions without pain.
The recent change of facebook photo uploader bothered me a lot because now I have to copy the captions one by one from my Picasa (I upload photos to both Picasa Webalbum & Facebook)
“I received a report that metadata was no longer being transferred to Facebook fields as described below, and I was able to reproduce it. ”
Is there a way to work around? (since you said you were able to “reproduce” it?)
Thanks for the help in advance.
p.s. I’ve also tried Picasa Uploader, a un-official plug-in for Picasa users to upload photos to Facebook, but it will reduce the photo resolution before uploading to Facebook….
I have not found a way to work around it.
“Reproduce” is a standard software-testing term that means, in this case, that I was able to duplicate the results other people reported. The metadata wasn’t going up. But as a regular user I haven’t been able to change the outcome. I think it will depend on whatever Facebook is going to do, and they might not announce what that is or when it is.
While it was sort of convenient that Facebook imported metadata, it was done in a way that was not ideal. I’d like to think that Facebook is going to bring it back in a way that was better than before, but I don’t have a way to find out until Facebook changes its behavior again someday.
Rats, just noticed in the past few uploads this month that FB does not use the captions and copyright metadata that I put into my files anymore. Inputting this one photo at a time in the FB uploader is a miserable exercise!
Hey there! Thanks for the post!
I’m desperately trying to make Facebook retrieve location and description from the EXIF fields of the photos I upload but so far all my attempts have failed.
I have hundreds of pictures to upload and I’d much rather embed titles and GPS coordinated in the photos in Lightroom than in Facebook!
Can you enlighten me on that?
Thanks a lot!
Hi Glauco, unfortunately as I wrote in the post, Facebook stopped importing metadata with images, and as far as I know there is no way to enable it from the user side. It seems like we will have to wait until Facebook changes how they handle image uploads again, if they ever do.
Hi Conrad, okay, thanks for the info. Do you know whether there FB made an official statement concerning the reasons why they stopped importing metadata with images?
Hi Glauco, I wasn’t able to find any official documentation of metadata importing when it worked, and I could not find an official announcement of it when it stopped working. I did find a thread on the Facebook Help Center where people are complaining, and you can vote on that question or add your own comment. Here’s the link:
Metadata on Photos (Facebook Help Center)
Thank you Conrad!
It appears that this still doesn’t work – I just uploaded a bunch of photos into a group, and they didn’t receive any description automatically. Uploading the exact same files to another service worked fine, including showing the metadata, so the IPTC fields are fine.
As of March 25, 2014, I’m seeing the Title, Caption and Copyright fields all being auto-loaded by FBook into the image description. They’re putting two line breaks after the Title, but no separation between the caption and copyright fields.
Yeah, I agree with Alex’s findings. FB is putting in Title, Caption, and Copyright, but it’s pretty dumb that it doesn’t put any line breaks between the caption and copyright fields. So basically that means I have to fix every single photo’s text upon upload, and also basically guarantees that most of my clients will find the text annoying and will delete my copyright notice, which kind of defeats the whole point.
That’s part of why I am looking for a command-line solution for embedding this information.
You see, I already have my own file, we’ll just call it a .TXT file for conversational purposes, with my captions in it. I already have a Perl script that reads that file and generates a normal BAT script that I run to use my uploads.
So your problem would simply be fixed by me adding, in the Perl script, a few blank lines padded on the end. Passed via the missing link program I am looking for to embed the info at the command-line (and assuming they do the logical thing of letting you pass \n for a newline character). Easy fix.
But darn if I can’t find that program. I thik it’s ExifEdit, but I couldn’t quite get it to work with a FB upload.
It doesn’t work anymore it seems? Any ways around this?
I really need the specific technical details for this to help me:
1) What are the specific names of the fields involved? For example, you write “DESCRIPTION/CAPTION”, but I am seeing things called “description”, “caption”, “ip-description”, and not sure about the very granular specifics.
2) What is a good command-line utility for embedding this information? Some of us can’t bear to copy and past for every photo for the rest of our lives. We’ve worked too hard to create automated workflows. A command-line solution is the key to automating and scaling something like this.
1) The field names I describe are the names used in Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe Bridge, not in the XMP metadata itself. You might be able to work out what the name mapping is in the metadata by opening an XMP sidecar file in a text editor, or if it’s an image, examine the Raw Data panel in the File > File Info dialog box in Photoshop or Bridge.
2) Unfortunately I’m not the best person to ask about command-line utilities. What I do is embed metadata in bulk using Lightroom (embedding info for many fields automatically upon import), though for some uses PhotoMechanic can be more flexible and efficient. I recognize that these programs may not always be able to do everything a command-line utility can do.
The command-line utility I’ve heard about the most is ExifTool. Have you looked into that one?
Sorry I couldn’t help more with the command-line programming, I hope that at least helps point you in the right direction!
If I upload a JPG edited it Photoshop does the online source info show that it was edited in photoshop?
It depends on several factors: A) The JPEG must be exported from Photoshop with metadata included. If it was set to exclude metadata, the name of the creating application (Photoshop) will not be included in the photo file. B) The web site must not strip image metadata on upload. If the website strips the metadata, the name of the creating application (Photoshop) will be removed. C) The website page must be coded to display image metadata, including the creating application. A website might display all image metadata fields, just some, or none. D) If the website makes metadata display optional, the photographer must turn it on. Some photographers decide to hide that information on the web page.
So a website may show that an image was edited in Photoshop if A, B, C, and D above are all true.
Hi Conrad. Hope you can help. I am putting titles and captions on my iphone photos. When I add to a Facebook post, I would like that info to go to FB so I don’t have to do twice. I swear I saw it happening this AM, but now, the data is not showing when I do a test post. Do I have to pick an option? Does this still work? Thanks so much; I want to save time!