Last week, Facebook and Instagram made major changes to their APIs – all with the aim of protecting your data and privacy. Whether it’s a shopping app or an analytics app, businesses working with Instagram have been affected by the changes.
To use a much more technical explanation, Instagram has shut down their public API, which many apps depend on, way before its planned date – July 31, 2018.
“To continuously improve Instagram users’ privacy and security, we are accelerating the depreciation of Instagram API Platform.”
(Instagram.com, 4th April 2018)
If any of your Instagram apps are not working anymore, this is the reason.
What is the Instagram API?
The Instagram API is a way for apps to interact with Instagram. Some apps are official Instagram partners, and therefore use the private Instagram Graph API, which allows some apps to create features around scheduling, commenting, and analytics.
Many companies still using the public Instagram API hadn’t planned to update their apps until the deadline and when Instagram restricted access to the public API without warning last week, it left many third-party apps broken.
If you use any apps connected to Instagram, you’ll definitely notice a few changes, and some may not work at all.
As the new Instagram Graph API is very restrictive, many apps haven’t made the cut and have therefore lost their ability to access the API altogether.
Unsurprisingly, the idea of this early change has been attributed to the public pressure surrounding Facebook about private data.
So while the changes will certainly impact businesses, they’re also aiming at reducing potential for abuse.
Here’s some things to keep in mind
- Instagram bots are officially dead – such as bots to follow and unfollow accounts, or like Instagram posts on your behalf. This also means you You might see lower engagement over the next few weeks, but this is all for the sake of a more transparent platform.
- Your Instagram “likes” will now be private only to you, and other companies won’t be able to tell what posts you have liked or not.
- If you’re using any apps to analyze your Instagram followers, or someone else’s followers, these will no longer work. We definitely recommend using well-trusted platforms and/Instagram business analytics.
- If you were using an app or service to evaluate whether an influencer’s followers were real or not, you won’t be able to do that anymore.
How is this going to affect influencer marketing platforms?
Some platforms acting as marketplaces and databases may receive a serious hit after the latest developments, as they won’t be able to access data required by some brands for campaigns.
Yes, this may be a setback for some, but for the sake of transparency, data protection, efficiency, it’s a price worth paying.