Instagram and Facebook are closely related, belonging to the same parent company, Meta. But for some time now, the American giant has been enabling the sharing of Instagram posts to Facebook by default.
When you post on Instagram, you don’t expect to find your content on other sites or platforms. After all, you posted on Instagram, not Facebook. Yet your Instagram posts end up on Facebook, to the surprise of many users who are not active on Facebook. But what exactly is going on?
Meta may have forced you to share your Instagram posts on Facebook
As The New York Times reports, this is due to a rather vicious Instagram strategy implemented last year. At one point, the app may have shown you a popup, asking if you would like your upcoming Instagram posts to be published on your Facebook page as well. If you don’t use Facebook, or use it very little, you’ll probably want to disable this option and keep your posts in the app you’re on. That being said, said option is a rather discreet hyperlink where the option to enable it is a big blue button.
And it turns out that many people clicked that button, thinking it would be the quickest way to close the popup faster, not realizing that they had committed to seeing their Instagram posts arrive on Facebook. And that’s precisely what Meta wanted: the company had a vested interest in increasing the number of users sharing Instagram content on Facebook and designed this popup so that the majority of Instagram users would give their consent (knowingly or unknowingly) to permanently share their posts and stories on Facebook.
While some will find this feature useful, for others it’s absolutely unthinkable. For the majority of users – especially the younger ones – Instagram is more of a platform to share with friends, while Facebook is for the older ones. Or rather, Facebook is more “formal”, you can have friends there, obviously, but also family members, colleagues or former teachers. You probably don’t want to share the same content with these people as you do with those on Instagram.
To be clear, Facebook’s integration with Instagram has been around for a long time, long before the name change to Meta. The company, which was then Facebook, had acquired Insta in 2012 for $1 billion and simplified sharing to your Facebook page, as well as Twitter, Tumblr and other apps. Last year, the American giant decided to trick its users into sharing content without explicitly telling them.
How to disable sharing from Instagram to Facebook
Fortunately, disabling the feature is quite easy. Instagram integrates a “Share to Facebook” button on the last page before publishing a post, but this option only disables sharing for the post in question. If you want to permanently disable sharing, this button will be active again on your next post. The same goes for stories: you can keep pressing “Your stories” to disable sharing on Facebook for this time, but it will be active again the next time.
To permanently disable it, go to Settings > Account > Sharing to other apps > Facebook. Turn off all “Automatically Share” options, including “Your Instagram Story”, “Your Instagram Posts” and, if you use them, “Your Instagram Reels”. You’ll find a similar option on a post page. Tap on “Advanced Settings” and you’ll find a “Share your posts on Facebook” button under Preferences.
Rachel Maga is a technology journalist currently working at Globe Live Media agency. She has been in the Technology Journalism field for over 5 years now. Her life’s biggest milestone is the inside tour of Tesla Industries, which was gifted to her by the legend Elon Musk himself.