Automatically share photos you like directly to Facebook with the latest Instagram update

If you're a big user of both Facebook and Instagram, you may be interested -- or horrified -- to learn that the latest Instagram update gives you the option to automatically share photos that are liked in Instagram directly to your Facebook feed. Facebook acquired Instagram almost 3 months ago, so tighter integration between the two social networks wasn't unexpected. However, the shotgun-like way it's being handled could be more than a little unwelcome.

That's right, in addition to the other millions of things that your friends do and like that you don't really care about seeing on your news feed, now you get to see all the photos that they like on Instagram as well. The good news is that the sharing feature is opt-in, so hopefully most of your friends won't actually discover it and choose to enable it.

What I find even more bothersome than the existence of this new sharing likes to Facebook feature is the fact that I don't have an option for my photos to not be shared to Facebook when someone likes it. They are my photos, after all, and perhaps there are some of them that I wish to exist only in the Instagram world. I actually do this at times -- post a photo to Instagram that I intentionally choose not to share to Facebook or Twitter. That's why the ability to share a photo to Twitter requires a deliberate action. Now if I specifically choose not to share a photo outside of Instagram, and a few people like it, Facebook people like one of my Instagram photos, it will be potentially shared with over 1000 people I don't know. Awesome.

In addition to the option to have your Instagram likes shared to Facebook, Instagram has also updated the profile tab, added the ability to search for users and tags in the Explore tab, improved commenting, some visual enhancements, and speed optimizations.

One of the most notable changes that wasn't explicitly stated in the release notes is that if you hold down on the camera tab, Instagram will jump right into your Camera Roll. But don't get too excited, this is a lot cooler than it sounds. Unfortunately, you get placed at the top of your Camera Roll (oldest first). So it turns out that it's still faster for me to access my Camera the original way since I have over 1000 photos I must scroll through to get to my most recently photos.

Enough about what I think about this Instagram update. What are your thoughts on the new Facebook integration? Are you excited at the potential of seeing more great photos in your news feed, or, on the contrary, are you concerned about seeing a flood of photos that you don't want to see?

Please sound off in the comments below!

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Leanna Lofte

Former app and photography editor at iMore, Leanna has since moved on to other endeavors. Mother, wife, mathamagician, even though she no longer writes for iMore you can still follow her on Twitter @llofte.

  • Instagram is a great app
  • My account is private and I use it to simultaeously post photos to my friends on Twitter and Facebook. Both my Twitter and Facebook are also private, but some of my friends' are not. If they like one of my private photos will it get shared all over FB?
    Up to now I wasn't too bothered by FB taking over Instagram, but I'd hate for them to roll out their obsession of conning/forcing people to share their lives publicly to Instagram as well. I recently downloaded the FB Messenger app since the regular FB is so buggy and slow, but decided that I didn't like it and deleted it. Despite only having been signed in for a couple of minutes and never having posted anything with it, my friends-only FB now has a publicly visible "Recent Activity" notice that I'm using the app with no option to remove it. I'll never d/l another FB branded app again.
  • That is what I want to know too. My instagram account is set to private - so if one of my instagram followers likes one of my photos will it be shared on their timeline - "so and so liked this photo on instagram"??? really don't want that .
  • Im not too thrilled about people sharing my instagrams to their facebook either. I do the same as you, not all my photos end up on facebook. Im hoping the next update will also have an option to disable this feature.
  • I closed my account with them after they released to android people. yes didn't like that idea and yes i don't like android.
  • Wow, what a winner ^^^^^
  • Wow, what a prejudiced. :/
  • I'm just glad it's opt in...
    Facebook is getting tiresome with their crappy mobile app and all of these features that are more annoying than cool and useful. They should be focusing on making the Facebook app faster and more stable.
  • I never thought of the fact that if I share a photo I like, it "outs" the photo to a more public audience than the photographer wants, in some cases.
    I have decided NOT to share my likes, so as not to trample on anyone else's choices about privacy. Thanks for making that point in the article.
    I hate Facebook more and more, yet use it to communicate with students and parents in my program and feel trapped into it, to some extent.
  • Maybe I'm not seeing this sharing setting from your screen shots on my iPhone 4S, because I've never linked my Facebook account to Instagram. Only Twitter. I have no need or desire to share any Instagram photos on Facebook, automatically or manually. So unless something changes to force Facebook Integration with my Instagram account, it's not happening.
  • But someone else can share your picture to their Facebook by "liking" it. Even if you don't have fb linked to your account.
  • Great. If I delete my Instagram account, that should prevent anyone from sharing any of my Instagram pics to Facebook. I'm getting sick and tired of this Facebook nonsense. They surreptitiously changed everyone's default e-mail address to and shared that by default too. Had to change it. If my GF didn't love chatting with me on FB Chat, I'd hardly ever use FB.
  • My only issue with Leanna's post, is that her Instagram account is public (at least as of a minute ago). According to Instagram's terms of use:
    "By displaying or publishing ("posting") any Content on or through the Instagram Services, you hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, worldwide, limited license to use, modify, delete from, add to, publicly perform, publicly display, reproduce and translate such Content, including without limitation distributing part or all of the Site in any media formats through any media channels, except Content not shared publicly ("private") will not be distributed outside the Instagram Services."
    Within Leanna's post, it is still to be seen how Instragram deals with photos on private accounts, but I'd hope they wouldn't allow those to be shared.
    So if you do have a problem with your publicly displayed photos being shared on the internet, either make your account private, or build your own infrastructure and put your photos behind a password protected page.
  • Had a public profile. Not anymore. Going private now since "anyone" could share my photos. Thanks for the informative article!
  • The thing to realize is, it's not Instagram anymore. It's another Facebook. As such your security and desires are unimportant.
  • I agree with what others are saying--FB's determination in making personal information visible to the world is becoming annoying. It seems that every app that is coming out--phone or web--is also becoming more tied to FB. You can't even post a reader comment on a site like CNN or FOXNEWS (just to name two) without going through the FB login. That means your picture, full name, location is now plastered all over the internet. I've gotten to the point now that I no longer leave any comments (or read them) on any sites--especially those that insist on using FB account information. I too am starting too find FB waste of time. The crap I (and many others) get subjected to by FB's ads, and people posting countless videos/pictures(taken from the internet) on news-feeds is getting old. And now the latest stupid action by FB to make your FB email address the primary email (and visible) for contacting you--instead of one you really want--goes to show you the extreme measures FB is willing to go to to probe every part of your life--in the name of progress. Yes, we have the option of removing ourselves from that situation but FB will find ways to force people to give up enough of your privacy if you want to continue communicating with friends.
  • Umm if you read the help section on instagram it explains that the photo likes are only seen by the people which you are friends with on instagram and Facebook. So the people seeing these likes would be the people that would have access to these photos anyway
  • For now, but if you don't think those pictures will end up used in a manner of Facebook's choosing and not your own, you are sadly mistaken.
  • Indeed. Any hope of keeping anything on Instagram private is going out the door. Don't be too shocked if Instagram becomes the Facebook Photo app at some point in the near future. And when it happens, you won't get any notification. It will just happen and you'll have to decide to either keep the app or delete it.
  • I don't know if I'm overlookIng something this might be a stupid question but before the update I could swipe right/left to delete comments now I can't.. Also I can't seem to find the option to delete a photo.
  • Actually the updates are really helpful !!
    Since the 'like' feature was really necessary!
  • I actually hate this. I didn't enable it to show the photos I like and sometimes the photos I like aren't appropriate so this is just awkward.
  • awesome site thanks for the info
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  • Top like
  • so cool cool
  • nice
  • gud looks
  • nice pic