On October 24, a pending API update will affect embedded Facebook and Instagram content on WordPress websites. In other words, the update will end support for unauthenticated embeds for both media platforms. Embedded content will only be supported for publishers with a Facebook developer account and a registered Facebook app. The change is expected to affect millions of websites.
How does this change affect WordPress embeds?
All oEmbed requests for Facebook and Instagram content will be ended on October 24, 2020. But what does this mean for WordPress?
These API requests are at the backbone of both Gutenberg and the Classic Editor to embed videos, pictures, updates, etc., explains Jake Spurlock from WordPress.org. By this particular date, the developer must use a user, app, or client token when querying Graph API for user profile pictures via UID, FB OEmbeds, and IG OEmbeds. “Developers should provide a user or app token when querying for profile pictures via a UID or ASID, though client tokens are supported as well,” says Facebook for Developers.
As a result of the update, WP is about to remove oEmbed endpoints from WP Core code. The change is expected in WP version 5.6. However, note that Gutenberg 9.0 already discontinued support.
It should also be noted that if a 5.x minor release takes place after October 24 and before 5.6, the update could be added to that release. The good news is that community plugins are available for WordPress users and developers utilizing these embeds.
Also, note that you will need to register developer accounts with Facebook and add the required API keys to all requests to continue getting support.
Since oEmbed responses are cached in the database via either post meta or oembed_cache post type, embeds added before the deadline will be preserved after the end date. These posts are not purged by default in WordPress Core, so the contents of the embed will continue to be there unless removed manually. In case the Graph API request is not carried out via a token, embeds added after the deadline will return the URL in the form of a link, adds WordPress.org.