When something from the Stack Exchange network is posted on Reddit, it just gets this default question mark thumbnail image:

Reddit default thumbnail image

Other sites get nice thumbnails. Is there something you guys could do or is it something that must be done on Reddit's side?


I just posted this link on Reddit and was surprised to see a thumbnail image linked to it:

Reddit Snapshot

The image is the third image on the linked question, and I don't see anything special with it.

Looking to the link I posted first above, I found this other link to electronics.stackexchange:

Reddit Snapshot 2

This time, the image appears to be taken from a Community Promotion Ad!

This is probably worse than getting the Reddit default thumbnail image. Did something change?

  • 1
    Heh, I'd look up if there's special HTML like Facebook's image_src meta definition to make that work, but I can't seem to find any help links anywhere on that site. So I'm just gonna mark it a fail and move on.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Sep 19, 2012 at 17:06
  • @jeremytunnell You tagged it status-completed, what was done exactly?
    – DavRob60
    Feb 27, 2013 at 18:35
  • 1
    Default image will just be the site logo. No reason we shouldn't have something, and it only took about 30 seconds to make the change.
    – Jeremy T
    Feb 27, 2013 at 18:40
  • @JeremyTunnell Great job, Thanks!
    – DavRob60
    Feb 27, 2013 at 18:42

2 Answers 2


This will go out in a build later today.

  • 1
    Finally, it's awesome to have this feature, thanks guys! Feb 27, 2013 at 20:38
  • look like it does not work very well, my last post show my gravatar as the thumbnails!
    – DavRob60
    Mar 1, 2013 at 20:34

According to Ticket #287 (Add a standard for pulling thumbnails), Reddit uses the Facebook method to derive thumbnails. Stack Exchange could add

<link rel="image_src" href="http://URL-TO-YOUR-IMAGE" / >

to the head section of the page to specify an image to be used as the thumbnail.

I don't know why none of the images already on the page are being selected (it's supposed to traverse the DOM to look for other image links), but the source code is on GitHub if anyone wants to take a look.

  • 5
    The site's logo and many other graphics on the site are CSS sprites so they'll be ignored. The only other pictures on most pages are users' avatars: IIRC there's a minimum size requirement for the thumbnail spider, and these fall below it. I hope SEI does add that <link> tag pointing to a logo; links shared on Facebook always look a bit lame without it.
    – Jeremy
    Sep 19, 2012 at 18:23
  • @JeremyBanks Aha! That's right, I forgot that even the logo is a CSS sprite. I wonder if posts that include an image hosted on imgur get a proper thumbnail on reddit and Facebook? (I don't want to submit a link to reddit just to test, but I can check FB later.) Sep 19, 2012 at 18:27
  • 9
    Not sure about Reddit, but submitting this post to Facebook does have an amusing result.
    – Jeremy
    Sep 19, 2012 at 18:29
  • @BilltheLizard No for reddit, yes for Facebook. see this.
    – DavRob60
    Sep 19, 2012 at 18:35
  • 2
    At least the Apple Touch icon is still not a sprite
    – random
    Sep 19, 2012 at 20:11
  • Adding an other link to the Apple Touch icon in the head section could be a quick solution. I just hope it will be done.
    – DavRob60
    Nov 26, 2012 at 12:58
  • Ticket 287 link is now broken. Apr 14, 2013 at 13:08
  • <link rel="image_src" still works and was moved from scraper.py to /r2/r2/lib/media.py github.com/reddit/reddit/blob/… so does <meta property="og:image" content="http://link.to/image.png" /> see also related facebook info stackoverflow.com/a/4101909/1754875 and
    – here
    Nov 6, 2013 at 2:11

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