Post image

Dynamic Open Graph Images with NextJS

Nov 14, 2022

Kacey Cleveland


The Open Graph Protocol ( allows for parsing of specific metadata that many social networks utilize to create dynamic sharable content. An example of this could be when you share a post on Facebook with a link but when you actually share it, the link is joined with a description, an author, an even a cover photo/picture. We can take it a step further and generate the photo/picture and also populate the other metadata fields. This article will focus on creating dynamic images based on your dynamic pages. I utilize this method deploying to Vercel for this blog on my website (

Tech used

  • NextJS
  • Serverless functions (via Vercel/AWS)


Example open grpah image

When I try and share one of my blog posts on Linkedin, you can see it gets populated with a preview image and text. We will go over how that image is generated and how we can customize it.

How It Works

As a starting point, I am going to assume you have some dynamic content/pages in a NextJS application. In my case, I utilize the following files for this blog:


  • /pages/posts/[slug].tsx
  • /pages/posts/open-graph/[slug].tsx
  • /pages/api/open-graph-image.ts


  • /utils/use-open-graph-image.ts
  • /utils/utils.ts

The code is actually borrowed heavily from here with a set of adjustments to make it more customizable:


1// path: /pages/api/open-graph-image.ts
2import type { NextApiRequest, NextApiResponse } from "next";
3import chromium from 'chrome-aws-lambda';
4import { chromium as playwrightChromium } from 'playwright-core';
5// getAbsoluteURL is in a snippet further down
6import { getAbsoluteURL } from 'utils/utils';
8export default async function handler(req: NextApiRequest, res: NextApiResponse) {
9  // Start the browser with the AWS Lambda wrapper (chrome-aws-lambda)
10  const browser = await playwrightChromium.launch({
11    args: chromium.args,
12    executablePath: await chromium.executablePath,
13    headless: chromium.headless,
14  })
15  // Create a page with the Open Graph image size best practise
16  // 1200x630 is a good size for most social media sites
17  const page = await browser.newPage({
18    viewport: {
19      width: 1200,
20      height: 630
21    }
22  });
23  // Generate the full URL out of the given path (GET parameter)
24  const relativeUrl = (req.query["path"] as string) || "";
25  const url = getAbsoluteURL(relativeUrl)
27  await page.goto(url, {
28    timeout: 15 * 1000,
29    // waitUntil option will make sure everything is loaded on the page
30    waitUntil: "networkidle"
31  })
32  const data = await page.screenshot({
33    type: "png"
34  })
35  await browser.close()
36  // Set the s-maxage property which caches the images then on the Vercel edge
37  res.setHeader("Cache-Control", "s-maxage=31536000, stale-while-revalidate")
38  res.setHeader('Content-Type', 'image/png')
39  // write the image to the response with the specified Content-Type
40  res.end(data)


1// Gets the URL for the current environment
2export const getAbsoluteURL = (path: string) => {
3    const baseURL = process.env.VERCEL_URL ? `https://${process.env.VERCEL_URL}` : "http://localhost:3000"
4    return baseURL + path


1import { useRouter } from "next/router";
2import { getAbsoluteURL } from "./utils";
4export default function useOpenGraphImage() {
5  const router = useRouter();
6  const searchParams = new URLSearchParams();
7  // The [slug] from /posts/[slug] and /posts/open-graph/[slug]
8  // should be identical.
9  searchParams.set(
10    "path",
11    router.asPath.replace("/posts/", "/posts/open-graph/")
12  );
13  // Open Graph & Twitter images need a full URL including domain
14  const fullImageURL = getAbsoluteURL(`/api/open-graph-image?${searchParams}`);
15  return { imageURL: fullImageURL };


Both of these files should generate the same slugs; the open-graph route slug will correspond to the image for the corresponding article from /pages/posts/[slug].tsx. For example, this article on my website has this route:

and if I want the open graph image for that route, I can go to:

The part that matters is the usage of the custom hook in /pages/posts/[slug].tsx that will get us the imageURL to pass to the meta tags:

1import Head from "next/head";
3const postComponent = (props) => {
4	const { imageURL } = useOpenGraphImage(); // <- This custom hook here!
5	return <>
6      <Head>
7        <title>Kacey Cleveland - {title}</title>
8        <meta name="description" content={props.description} />
9        <meta property="og:title" content={props.title} />
10        <meta property="og:type" content="article" />
11        <meta property="og:image" content={imageURL} />
12      </Head>
13      <div>
14        // Content here
15      </div>
16  </>;


1import { useRouter } from "next/router";
2import { getAbsoluteURL } from "./utils";
4export default function useOpenGraphImage() {
5  const router = useRouter();
6  const searchParams = new URLSearchParams();
7  searchParams.set(
8    "path",
9    router.asPath.replace("/posts/", "/posts/open-graph/") // This will take the current URL of the post and give us the open-graph one. Modify as needed for how you have your routing setup
10  );
11  const fullImageURL = getAbsoluteURL(`/api/open-graph-image?${searchParams}`); // This will then pass along the route for the open-graph image to our api request which will run the serverless function which runs headless chrome and goes to the /posts-open-graph/[slug].tsx route and takes a screenshot to serve as the 'fullImageURL' return.
12  return { imageURL: fullImageURL };


TLDR the order of operations are the following:

  1. A user shares a link to your article/dynamic content
  2. The site that the article is shared on finds reads the meta tags and finds there is an open graph image tag
  3. The image URL is a GET request to a serverless function that will take a screenshot of the passed route (/posts/open-graph/[slug].tsx) and return the image to be served on the social media site the link was shared on.

Additional Resources