Back when I was young and foolish, I thought that Facebook would be a good platform to share content on. Of course, I came to my senses a few years ago when I realized that they’re a dying company preying on the elderly; the younger generations have long since abandoned them for Twitterings, Snapchatting, and whatever it is they do. I use Google+ almost exclusively these days, with occasional posts to Facebook when I’m with certain groups of friends who haven’t yet seen the light.

I just discovered that Facebook, who used to give us the ability to embed the videos that we’d allowed them, given them the privilege of hosting, has removed that function and not told anyone. Here’s the post back from 2008 when they actively touted this ability. There hasn’t even been an update to this post saying that it’s been taken away, but it has. Let’s use my blog entry from Easter 2009 as the example. In it, I have a embedded Youtube video, and an embedded Facebook video. You’ll be able to see the Youtube one near the top (disabled by default, I hope for you, because everyone knows you should disable flash from playing in their browser by default – right?)

But lower down you’ll just see a big empty space. If you right click on it, it says “movie not loaded” – this means that there’s a problem loading the video from wherever it’s stored on a webserver. It’s been so long since I wrote that entry (although it does make me nostalgic for Dozan wa Awtar, that’s for sure) that I had almost forgotten if I had self-hosted that video on my own website, or if I was embedding it from elsewhere. Checking the source code gives me the following:

<object width=”450″ height=”337″ ><param name=”allowfullscreen” value=”true” /><param name=”allowscriptaccess” value=”always” /><param name=”movie” value=”″ /><embed src=”” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowscriptaccess=”always” allowfullscreen=”true” width=”450″ height=”337″></embed></object></p>

This shows that the webpage is trying to load video from the following link, using Facebook’s official embed code as of 2009 – Go ahead and click that! See what happens!

It takes you to a stupid page for the “V” movie or something. That’s right, at some point, when Facebook decided there was more money in pandering to corporations than to people, they gave everyone the ability to have custom URLs, and they never thought “maybe we should, you know, reserve the “/v/” custom URL because we, uh, um, let people embed videos using that embed code for 3-4 years, eh?” Nope, they gave it up just like everything else. And thus, everyone that thought Facebook would be as robust and futureproof as Google and Youtube when they decided to embed videos with them got a big slap in the face.

At least a year ago, from what I can find on the internet, there was still a way to just fix that Facebook embed link, switch the /v to =videoID=?number or something, and I think I did do that to some of my blog entries and it worked. But now, apparently Facebook has decided to copy twitter, and only allow entire posts to be embedded, not just the video I want. So if you want a big, stupid looking blob of text and code on your personal blog, you can do that! But you can’t just elegantly embed a video file anymore. Breaking backwards compatibility with one of your old features, in order to copy someone else’s feature. Well done.

Thanks Facebook. I’ll need to go into the MySQL database and run a query for every instance of your old embed code and scrape it out, and probably rehost it locally in HTML5. It’s time I got with the 21st century, anyway. I really can’t wait until you’re as much of a laughingstock of the internet as MySpace, but keep it up – you’ll be there soon.

Edit: I’ll be removing every video I’ve put on Facebook at some point, but because unlike Facebook, I respect my old links (sorry to anyone else who’s embedded my video files without telling me you had; this is why you should tell someone when you’re doing that), I won’t remove the Facebook video file that made me write this entire post. It’s kind of silly, just us doing buzzing sounds in the song “Oremus” – (and Facebook still mandates Flash player? Ugh) but a lot of Jordanian friends are tagged in it.