How to embed Facebook & Instagram content on WordPress.

Picture for Alastair Miller Alastair Miller

October 22nd 2020

Up until now, you could simply paste a link to a Facebook or Instagram post in your WordPress post. WordPress would take that URL and automatically turn it into a nice looking embed. As of October 24th 2020, this is no longer possible without a little work.

Instagram post embed before and after Facebook API change

This is due to WordPress dropping support for the Facebook oEmbed API. For this type of embedded content to display, Facebook requires you to take the following steps:

Realistically this is not as simple as it first looks, and for many is not a viable option without help. So, lets look at what other options there are to get embeds working like they used to:

  • oEmbed Plus

    This WordPress plugin reinstates embedding for Facebook and Instagram content. While easier, this still requires you to go through the process of registering a Facebook developer account and create an app ID (as above).

  • Smash Balloon

    Smash Balloon offers dedicated plugins Facebook and Instagram, that fix the oEmbed issue, while keeping all your existing content working. There are both free and premium versions of these plugins if required.

  • Jetpack

    The Jetpack development team have worked with Facebook to provide a simple way to make everything work and to keep it that way. All you need to do is install Jetpack and connect your site. If you already have Jetpack installed, check you have the latest update.

It is worth noting that without making any changes, there is a chance some of the content you’ve embedded form Facebook or Instagram does not display properly on your website.

Why is this happening?

There is an open standard to make sure embeds work well everywhere which is called oEmbed. By using this, every platform can authenticate shared content in a similar way. Unfortunately, Facebook is dropping support for oEmbed and require users to use its own API’s.

Unfortunately, WordPress as a platform can’t follow Facebook led, as they cannot sign you up for a Facebook Developer account and register itself. As a result this feature will be dropped from core in WordPress 5.5.2.

Additional information on this topic can also be read on wersm.com.

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