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WordPress Instagram/Facebook Embeds Stop Working? Here’s How to Fix

Last Updated on October 26th, 2020

Published on October 26th, 2020

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Did your WordPress site’s Facebook or Instagram embeds stop working suddenly on October 24? Don’t worry, you’re not alone, and there’s nothing wrong with your site. Instead, Facebook recently made a big change to its API that breaks pretty much all Facebook embeds (and Instagram embeds, for that matter).

Before, you used to be able to just paste in the link to the Facebook content that you wanted to embed (or include it in a Facebook block). However, on October 24, Facebook disabled that simple method for Facebook and Instagram embeds, which is why your existing embeds might’ve stopped working.

So – how can you fix the problem? That’s the topic of this post.

I’ll show you how to fix your existing WordPress Facebook and Instagram embeds that stopped working. What’s more, you’ll also be able to embed new content from Facebook and Instagram.

Basically, this will make your site go back to working just like it did before October 24.

What You Need to Fix Facebook/Instagram oEmbed Problems on WordPress

The main issue that stopped your Facebook and Instagram embeds from working on WordPress is a change that Facebook made to its API.

If you’re not familiar with what an API is, it’s basically what lets your site automatically “grab” the content from Facebook or Instagram to embed on your site. Basically, the API provides “permission” and also makes it easy for your site to access the exact data that it needs.

As of October 24, your site no longer has that permission by default. However, you still can give your site permission if you jump through a few hoops.

Specifically, you’ll need to create a Facebook Developers account and make your own “app”. Then, your “app” will have the proper permissions that it needs to still keep embedding Facebook and Instagram content.

That sounds intimidating if you’re not a developer – but don’t worry! Creating your app really just requires clicking a bunch of different buttons, which I’ll show you in detail below. You don’t need any technical knowledge to get this done.

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Of course, there’s another part to this puzzle – your WordPress site. You also need to configure your WordPress site to use these new API permissions when embedding content from Facebook or Instagram.

To do that, you can use the free oEmbed Plus plugin. Once you create your Facebook app and configure it with the plugin, your WordPress site will function pretty much exactly as it did before Facebook made its change. Additionally, it will also fix your existing broken Facebook and Instagram embeds.

How to Fix Broken WordPress Facebook and Instagram Embeds

Now, let’s get into the tutorial and I’ll show you how to fix this problem. Here’s a high-level look at the steps involved:

  1. Install and activate the plugin.
  2. Create a new Facebook App.
  3. Add Facebook app credentials to wp-config.php file.
  4. …profit. Or, just have fun embedding social media content, I guess.

1. Install and Activate oEmbed Plus Plugin

To get started, install and activate the free oEmbed Plus plugin from WordPress.org.

2. Create a Facebook App

Next, you need to create a Facebook app that has oEmbed permissions. This is the most involved part of the process, but I’ll take you through every step.

Create App

To get started, go to the Facebook Developers console and register for an account if you haven’t already (you can use your regular Facebook account).

Then, click the prompt to Create App:

Create a new Facebook app

In the popup prompt that follows, choose the Something Else option and then click Continue:

Choose something else

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Then, you’ll need to enter a name and contact email for the app – don’t stress too much. Just enter something that’s easy to remember. Then, click Create App:

Configure app

Add oEmbed Permissions

Now, you should be in the dashboard for your app.

In the Add a Product box, scroll down to the bottom and find the oEmbed option. Then, click Set Up:

Add oEmbed to app

You might see a popup prompt – check the box and click Confirm to add oEmbed permissions to your app.

Configure Other App Details

Next, go to Settings → Basic in your Facebook app dashboard to enter a few other details:

  • Enter your website’s URL in the App Domains box.
  • Add your website’s Privacy Policy URL in the Privacy Policy URL box.
  • Use the Category drop-down to choose a category.

Once you’ve added those three pieces of information, use the Toggle at the top to make your app live:

Configure Facebook app

Now, you need to access/copy the values from the App ID and App Secret boxes. Keep this information handy because you’re going to need it in the next step:

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Facebook API keys

3. Add API Keys to Plugin’s Settings

To finish things out, go to Settings → Writing in your WordPress dashboard and scroll down to the Facebook and Instagram Embed Settings box.

Paste in your App ID and App Secret to the relevant boxes and save your changes:

Add API keys to WordPress

Alternatively, you can also define these keys in your site’s wp-config.php file if you prefer. This lets you keep your app API keys hidden from the WordPress dashboard and also makes things easier if you’re using WordPress multisite. It’s up to you which method you use.

You don’t need to do anything below this if you’re fine with adding the keys inside your WordPress dashboard.

However, if you do want to add these keys via your wp-config.php file instead of the Settings → Writing area in your WordPress dashboard, all you need to do is add the following snippets to your wp-config.php file:

define('OEMBED_PLUS_FACEBOOK_APP_ID', 'Enter App ID Here');
define('OEMBED_PLUS_FACEBOOK_SECRET', 'Enter Secret Here');

Make sure to replace the Enter App ID Here and Enter Secret Here placeholders with your actual App ID and App Secret.

4. Enjoy Your Facebook and Instagram Embeds!

And that’s it! Once you add your app keys to WordPress, all of your existing Facebook and Instagram embeds should start working again. Additionally, you’ll be able to continue to embed new content using the same method that you used before.

Basically, your site should function just like it did before October 24.

Facebook technically does add a rate limit to the API key. However, the limit is five million requests per day, so it’s unlikely that your WordPress site will ever come close to hitting that.

Fix Broken Facebook and Instagram Embeds on WordPress Today

As of October 24, 2020, Facebook made a change that will make existing Facebook and Instagram embeds stop working on your WordPress site. Additionally, you’ll be unable to embed new content from Facebook or Instagram.

To fix your existing embeds and continue to embed other content, you can create your own Facebook app and use the free oEmbed Plus plugin, which we’ve detailed in this article.

Some other plugins, like Facebook and Instagram feed plugins, are also building in their own fixes. However, we like the oEmbed Plus plugin because it’s super lightweight and adds no bloat to your site. Basically, it just makes your site function as it did prior to October 24.

Do you still have any questions about how to fix broken Facebook or Instagram embeds on WordPress? Ask us in the comments!

Colin Newcomer is a freelance writer and long-time Internet marketer. He specializes in digital marketing, WordPress and B2B writing. He lives a life of danger, riding a scooter through the chaos of Hanoi. You can also follow his travel blog.