EDIT: I knew it wouldn’t take Facebook long to plug up this exploit and it took about a week so don’t waste your time trying this because it doesn’t work anymore.
Before I get to the how to part I want to start with a disclaimer. For the record, I’m not a big fan of animated images because unfortunately they tend to be over used. Seeing one here and there can be amusing but a page full of them is annoying. I certainly hope that anyone who reads this and tries it out will use good judgement.
I’m not writing this blog post because I want to turn Facebook into MySpace but because I know lots of us have seen these animated images on other’s Timelines or had them posted by others on our own and wondered how it’s done. I wondered too so did a little digging and came up with the answer. There are at least two Facebook apps that will allow you to post an animated image but they add their own credit and a link to their page so those didn’t interest me. I knew it was done with a hack of some kind and as it turns out it involves an exploit of the mobile uploading of graphics and since animated GIFs don’t work on Facebook the images must be either JPG or MP3 files. There are some converters that will allow you to turn an animation into the appropriate format but I’m not going to get that involved in this post. There are already lots of animated graphics you can find to use without having to convert your own. I’ve also included a few at the end of this post. To get the URL of any of the images just right click and copy the image location.
This hack reminds me of one I wrote about a few months ago that let us change the text of a Facebook @ tag to anything we wanted to say and lots of people had fun with that for a few days but it didn’t take Facebook long to block it so I don’t expect this hack to survive too long either. But, for now it’s working, so here’s how to do it.
Basically you will copy some text, modify a few lines and then paste that text into your browser’s address bar which completes the hack and then will present you with a typical status update window where you can add your own text before posting.
Here’s the code: PLEASE NOTE that it’s important to be sure that all the single quote marks don’t get converted to slanted (curly) correct punctuation marks when you copy and paste this code. Be sure to check your code after you copy it to be sure that your editing program doesn’t change the straight single quote marks to curly ones.
&from=YOUR FACEBOOK USER ID
&target_id=ID OF PAGE OR PROFILE YOU ARE POSTING TO
'src':'URL OF IMAGE ',
Here is the code as I would use it as an example:
‘description':’Are you ready to rock your Monday?’,
Step 1: Copy the actual code above (not my example in red) and paste it into Notepad or other text editing program.
Step 2: Replace YOUR FACEBOOK USER ID and ID OF PAGE OR PROFILE YOU ARE POSTING TO with the correct ID numbers. You can either post as yourself on a friend’s Timeline or post as yourself on your own. Obviously, if you want to post on your own Timeline you would put your own ID in both places.
Be sure you’re using the actual Facebook ID which is a string of numbers and not the name. If you don’t know your Facebook user ID because you have a vanity URL you can find it by pasting this URL into your address bar and changing YOURNAME to the name of your Page or profile: https://graph.facebook.com/YOURNAME
Step 3: Replace URL OF IMAGE in the ‘src’ line with the URL of the animated graphic you want to use. PLEASE NOTE: You must leave the space at the end of the image URL. I have included a few below you can use and you can find others by searching Google or creating your own. To use one of the images I’ve included just right click and copy the Image location.
Step 4: Change the rest of the information that is currently referencing my own Page (Social Identities) with your own information.
Step 5: Once you’ve completed editing, copy all of the code and paste it into the address bar of your browser and hit your “Enter” key and you should be presented with a typical update window similar to the one below. Add some text to go along with your post, click the “Share” button and watch the magic happen. Or get ready for a ton of comments from your friends that hate animated graphics.