Embed Instagram posts - The legal aspect of Embedding Instagram Content.

With the advent of social media and its popularity among internet users, a lot of content is generated and shared across various social media platforms.

Instagram is one such social media behemoth, where users create millions of posts in the form of photos and videos every day. While Instagram is now not just limited to a casual exchange of photos and videos, it provides online publishers from various fields the option to monetize and market the content posted on Instagram.

In this article, we shall discuss what all Instagram content can be embedded and the legality involved in embedding a post, photo, or video from Instagram.

Let's first understand what you can embed from Instagram and how to do it.


Can you embed Instagram posts or other Instagram content?

Yes. You can easily embed Instagram posts, photos, videos, reels on any website or App. Even links can be embedded, following which a person can view the Instagram post on external web pages.

This, however, is subject to the Instagram post originating from a public Instagram account. It is perhaps the only prerequisite and is required since there is no restriction on who is viewing the post on public Instagram accounts.

As far as private accounts are concerned, since only users following an Instagram account can view its content, it does not make sense to embed Instagram posts from a private account. If you still embed the post, the Instagram feed will not be visible to most of the people since most of them will not be following you.

The only workaround for this, for a private Instagram account holder, is to make the post public before integrating the embedded code of that Instagram post. It will allow that particular post to be visible to any user visiting the website or App where the Instagram post is embedded.

How do I enable the embed option on Instagram?

Instagram has a vast user base with lots of content shared daily, in the form of photos and videos.

Some of this content is shared outside Instagram and embedded on other websites for various reasons. Sharing Instagram content has therefore been a focus for many Instagram users. With this, there is also a problem with managing the content shared outside Instagram.

Thankfully, Instagram has introduced a vital feature wherein the owner of the Instagram content can choose to enable or disable sharing of their content over external sources. It can be done quickly by following the below steps;

Enabling embed option using the Instagram app on Android and Apple devices-

  1. Open the Instagram app. You must be logged into your account.
  2. Once signed in, tap on your display picture in the bottom right of the screen to open your Instagram profile page.
  3. Go to the top right corner of the screen and tap on the icon displayed by three horizontal lines.
  4. A drop-down menu will open. Now tap on 'Settings.'
  5. In the 'Settings' page, select 'Account' to open the account page.
  6. Scroll down to the 'Embed' section and tap on it. Now move the toggle button to 'ON,' and the embed option will be enabled.

Enabling embed option using Instagram web version-

  1. Open the Instagram website and login into your account.
  2. Click on your display picture on the top right of the page.
  3. From the drop-down menu, click on 'Profile,' followed by 'Privacy and Security.
  4. Go to the 'Embeds' section and turn the toggle button to 'On.'

It will allow other Instagram users to embed your posts into third-party websites or apps. If you want to protect your content and prevent other users from using your content, you can turn this setting 'Off,' and your content will no longer reflect, even if people have already published the embedded code.

It will allow other Instagram users to embed your posts into third-party websites or apps. If you want to protect your content and prevent other users from using your content, you can turn this setting 'Off,' and your content will no longer reflect, even if people have already published the embedded code.

Remember that this feature is not available to all Instagram users but to a select few who have been verified or have a creator or business account.

Is embedding an Instagram post or photo, or video legal?

A lot of businesses, as well as professionals from various fields, actually use Instagram to promote their brands, ideas, and products online to its vast userbase.

Many use Instagram content on their websites and Apps by embedding them with the rest of the content. It also makes sense from an aesthetic and a marketing point of view since it not only creates better content for their websites or Apps but also improves the overall user interaction and experience.

With so much content publicly available on Instagram, which people use and share on external websites daily, the question arises if it is legal to embed an Instagram post, photo, or video.

The answer to this question is not so simple and will largely depend on what Instagram content you are using. While it is true that the content creator is the actual owner of the content on any social network platform, including Instagram, it is widely assumed that content available publicly on Instagram is free to use. Moreover, Instagram provides the option to embed public posts into any external website.

However, there have been a few cases wherein business entities have sued others who have published their Instagram content without confirmation. This is against the general notion that the content available in the public domain can be used without any explicit permission from the content creator.

People assume that using Instagram APIs to embed pubic content on their websites or apps is ok since they are using the API provided by Instagram and have been using Instagram content, per Instagram's terms and conditions.

To an average person, this means Instagram has provided them a sublicense for using the content available on its platform by giving them the option to embed Instagram content, which is not the case. Although publicly available content can be embedded into external websites, Instagram clearly states that it has not granted any sublicense to anyone using Instagram content.

Therefore, people embedding content on external websites should understand that public content on Instagram is not free to use.

Any website or App embedding third-party content/content from other creators has to determine for their respective case what kind of content they are embedding and whether they need to get permission from the owner/creator of the original content or not. 

Even in the case of using Instagram's web API for embedding content and agreeing to all its terms and conditions, the right to embed content that you do not create is not entirely yours. It can be revoked if the owner of the content raises the issue.

It begs another question - Do Instagram content creators have any option to stop others from using their content? Changing public posts to private posts is not always an option since it defeats the purpose of sharing content with the masses.

Here the option to change embed settings that allow the Instagram content for embedding can significantly help. Instagram gives you, the content owner, the option to change embed settings to on or off to prevent other users from embedding your Instagram posts.

This has also been confirmed by Instagram, where they have expressly informed its users that although the content on Instagram can be shared and embedded by external third-party websites or apps, to share or embed the content, the Instagram account or post should be public and that embed settings should allow for embedding the post.


To conclude, it is always a good idea to contact the owner/creator of the original content before sharing or embedding them on your external websites. This way, you can be sure of not being questioned by others over the legality of embedding the Instagram post, photos, or videos, and you will be able to produce quality content for your website or App viewers.