Instagram enables embedding of photos and videos

11 Jul 2013

Websites that wish to share content discovered on Instagram now have an easy way to do so as the photo and video-sharing network introduces embed codes.

When Instagram was solely a photo-sharing operation, sharing its content elsewhere online was easy enough through a bit of copy and paste, but this method puts a lot of faith in others that they would attribute these images correctly.

Since rolling out its new video feature and with users creating content that is no longer so easy to reproduce, an imperative to provide a formal way to share Instagram photos and videos online has arisen.  

Yesterday, Instagram announced the provision of embed codes for photos and videos created and shared using the app. By taking this initiative, the multimedia-sharing network ensures that websites referencing content its users create can embed it along with the right attribution. It also means Instagram gains control over how its shared content appears online and how users can interact with it.

What’s private stays private

Embed codes are already generated by YouTube and Twitter so that these networks can see wider distribution of their content in a way that remains under their control. YouTube users are given the option to enable embedding of videos when they are uploaded, while tweets from Twitter users with private accounts cannot be embedded or shared via email.

The same kind of rules apply on Instagram, where users who have opted for private accounts will remain so, and embed codes will only be generated for public accounts.

How it works

The new embed button appears alongside all Instagram photo and video pages on the web. Clicking this will generate a code for a HTML iframe, which can then be used on supported sites.

Instagram embed codes

Screenshot highlighting the new embed button

Instagram embed codes

Screenshot showing a generated embed code

Unfortunately, does not currently support iframe codes within its articles, but embedded images from Instagram will appear like the image pasted below, but with active links allowing users to visit the Instagram feed of the image creator, all from the convenience of the inline image.

Instagram embedded image

Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic