Why does IMDb use open graph images that are typically in a portrait orientation?

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Open graph images associated with movies are generally 1200 pixels tall by 630 pixels wide, which is different then Facebook's guidelines of 1200 pixels wide by 630 pixels tall.

Are there guidelines available for selecting the image that will be listed at the open graph image and why are most of the images in a portrait orientation rather than landscape?

For reference, here's the meta tag from Spider-Man: Far from Home
<meta property='og:image'
content="https://m.media-amazon.com/images/M/MV5BMGZlNTY1ZWUtYTMzNC00ZjUyLWE0MjQtMTMxN2E3ODYxMWVmXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMDM2NDM2MQ@@._V1_UY1200_CR90,0,630,1200_AL_.jpg" />
When a link to the movie page is shared via apps like WhatsApp, all that shows is the area between Spider Man's eyes, so the image doesn't provide much value.


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Rich DeBourke

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Posted 12 months ago

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Claire, Official Rep

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Hi Rich,

Thanks for your feedback regarding the Facebook share functionality on IMDb title pages. At this time, the Facebook share option will only select the poster image for title pages (or primary image for name pages) as the image thumbnail to share with your post. We are unable to control the way Facebook or other sharing options present the thumbnail. I've forwarded this feedback to the appropriate team for further review. 

IMDb is constantly being updated and improved, and we welcome all comments and suggestions aimed at improving its features, flexibility, and ease of use. 

Please let us know if we can offer any further help.
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Rich DeBourke

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Hi Claire,

Thanks for the quick response.

One note of clarification – I wasn’t asking how to get Facebook (or other link sharing application) to select a different image, but rather, I’m asking why did IMDb make the decision to use thumbnail images in a portrait mode rather than landscape.

The Open Graph standard that IMDb is following to specify the thumbnail (the meta tag I listed) was created by Facebook. Facebook’s website recommends a 1200 by 630 image, but IMDb often specifies a 630 by 1200 image. I’m curious as to why IMDb decided at some point in the past to not follow Facebook’s recommendation.

The reason I’m asking the question is more messaging apps (e.g. WhatsApp) and search engines (e.g. Google and Bing) are including Open Graph images in their link previews, but everybody sizes and crops the image differently, making it difficult for web designers to provide images that have much impact. I’m talking to a few people involved with web design standards about the possibility of developing some guidelines for open graph image sizing (the OG standard provides no recommendation for image sizing, which may be why things are getting so confusing).

Since the IMDb is one of the larger websites on the internet and you chose not to follow Facebook’s guidelines, I’m hoping to understand your reasoning behind your decision so I can include that in the discussions around a guideline.