A partial archive of discourse.wicg.io as of Saturday February 24, 2024.

Qualifying meta tags


I’d be surprised, if this topic didn’t come up in the past, but I haven’t found any discussion of it. Any pointers would be highly appreciated.

The problem: Every new social network feels the necessity to invent a new set of potentially incompatible meta tags, that developers are supposed to put on their page.

Possible solution: Qualified meta tag names. Augment a name like description with freely selectable strings. Possible variants:

<meta name="description.facebook"> <!-- CSS class name style -->
<meta name="facebook:description"> <!-- XML namespace style -->
<meta name="facebook.description"> <!-- Dublin Core style -->
<meta name="description facebook"> <!-- "favicon" style -->

Personally, I’d suggest the “CSS class name” style, since it’d trivially allow to qualify a meta tag for more than one vendor.

Example: Say your page has a long description, that all networks but Twitter and Mastodon should use. Then you can mark up this in this way:

<meta name="description" content="long and winding description">
<meta name="description.twitter.mastodon" content="short and sweet">

I was under the impression that Open Graph had essentially “won” the proprietary-meta-tag battle in the realm of social networks. Which other formats are you referring to?

How would namespacing improve this situation, if developers then need to include multiple tags for each piece of meta-data instead of using the Open Graph standard?

Also, how would you get buy-in from the existing implementors to encourage use of this new standard while deprecating the existing one(s)?