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WordPress 4.4 + Jetpack 3.8.1 YouTube Shortcode Change

I just noticed this evening that embedded YouTube videos in my posts on ocabj.net were not showing up, and simply showed up on the page as text:


This is how it is actually typed into the visual editor for WordPress, and it’s supposed to interpret the bracketed text as a YouTube video embed.

Anyway, I figured it was related to the recently update WordPress and Jetpack applications, since I recently updated to WordPress 4.4 and Jetpack 3.8.1

I was able to find out that the Jetpack shortcode module has changed the syntax for YouTube embeds.

Instead of:


it is now:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOUTUBE_STRING]

Why they changed it so the equal sign is no longer delimiting the shortcode and URL is beyond me. But this is quite irritating.

A quick fix is to run the following SQL command on your WordPress database:

UPDATE wp_posts SET post_content = REPLACE (post_content, '[youtube=', '[youtube ');

This should update all of your existing YouTube shortcode embeds so they are functional with WordPress 4.4 and Jetpack 3.8.1.

Follow Jonathan Ocab:
Owner and administrator of ocabj.net

2 Responses

  1. Jeremy

    Hi there!

    I’m Jeremy, and I work on the Jetpack team. Thanks for warning your readers about this issue, as it can indeed be quite annoying!

    That’s a known issue, and something that will be fixed in the next version of Jetpack, 3.8.2, scheduled to be released in the next few days, if we don’t find any issues while beta testing.

    We actually didn’t update the shortcode format in Jetpack. The way shortcodes are processed was changed in WordPress itself, in 4.4. It affects a few plugins, and will likely be fixed for everyone in the future. You can follow the progress on this issue here:

    In the meantime, we’ll fix Jetpack as I mentioned earlier. Another alternative would be to update the shortcode format in your content, as you suggested in your post. That works too!
    A third alternative would be to install Jetpack’s Beta version, that includes the fix ?

    I hope this clarifies things a bit.

  2. ocabj

    Thanks for reaching out. Also, thank you for clarifying where the change took place. I figured it had to be either in WP or JP, and since JP is so tightly integrated with WP, I often consider them to be a singular ‘product’ so to speak.

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