oEmbeds to Facebook & Instagram to break

Facebook is making changes which mean that from October 24th, 2020 they will no longer support unauthenticated oEmbeds. WordPress will be dropping support for oEmbeds to Facebook and Instagram in the next release so to keep using embeds from either you will need to install a plugin.

What does all that mean?

Within WordPress and other CMS you can paste the URL (link) of a page/post on a site and instead of it just showing you the link it will create a little embed. This embed is generated by the remote site. For example in WordPress if you pasted:

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=4854036924621836&id=217495734942668

Into the editor, It would create an embed that looks like:

From the 24th October however, instead of the nice embed, you will simply see the link unless you take action.

Why are oEmbeds breaking?

This change of policy was announced by Facebook and affects Facebook both and Instagram. While they are not removing the embed feature entirely they do now require additional steps to make it work. Specifically, they require you to register as a “developer” on their site and gain a token. In addition, there are code changes to be able to use that token and display embedded content.

What should you do?

If you want to keep oEmbeds showing then all is not lost! If you have Jetpack version 9.0 or higher you can enable the “shortcode embeds” module, which will replicate the existing shortcodes with no additional effort.

For those not using Jetpack a new WordPress plugin called oEmbed Plus is available now which will restore the functionality and guide you through getting the token and setting everything up.

To ensure uninterrupted embedding, you should install the plugin before 24th October. If you miss that deadline, you can install it afterwards and your embeds will start working again.

It’s worth keeping in mind oEmbeds make a call to the third party site and do slow your pages down. Many people are taking this opportunity to consider removing embeds rather then going through more hoops.

As always our support team are happy to help and advise if you have any issues, though do be aware we won’t be able to help you get the developer token, which is something you have to do from your own Facebook accounts.

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