We have a few images which we plan to remove as it is no longer used. However these were used earlier as Facebook url sharing thumbnails. From what I can see, these images are cached in CDNs, but I am not sure what happens behind that.

If I remove these images from my server, would Facebook no longer be able to display the thumbnail again? Or would Facebook keep a copy of the image on their end?

1 Answer 1


Facebook displays their own copy of your image so you can delete yours safely without having to worry about the instances where they were shared on Facebook.

This makes sense as Facebook is surely not going to rely on your server’s performance to load a page inside facebook.com, instead they make a copy of your image at the time of publication and server it from their own servers.

If you inspect element an image from a Facebook publication you’ll find the source is a URL that looks something like this: https://fbexternal-a.akamaihd.net/safe_image.php?d=AQAh_e7eDApGOm06&w=470&h=246&url=http%3A%2F%2Fes.wikiarquitectura.com%2Fimages%2Fthumb%2Fe%2Fec%2FOrdrupgaard_1.jpg%2F420px-Ordrupgaard_1.jpg&cfs=1&upscale=1

This is from an article that was shared form my site WikiArquitectura.com and as you can see my domain is nowhere to be found in that URL. I could delete that image from my server and the Facebook publication won’t be affected at all. You of course can do the same.

  • Cool thanks. I see that it is CDN cached. The expiry date in one day. So I wonder if behind that CDN they also have their own copy of my image. I am trying to set up something to test this.
    – lulalala
    Commented Oct 12, 2015 at 13:08

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