As you may have heard in the media over the past week, Facebook and Instagram recently made major changes to their APIs. These changes are in an effort to protect users data and privacy. Almost every company that does business on Instagram was affected by these changes. Whether it was a shopping app or an analytics app.
You may have noticed many of your Instagram apps don’t work the same anymore. This is because Instagram has shut down their public API without warning. Many apps depend on a public API, which has left many third-party apps broken.
So what do the Instagram changes this mean to your business?
The new Instagram Graph API is much more restrictive than the older Instagram API platform. Many apps that haven’t been approved by Instagram to use the new API suddenly lost their ability to access the API altogether.
However, the changes have also affected apps that approved by Instagram, although the impact is much less severe.
Here are they key changes you’ll notice on Instagram:
Instagram bots are officially dead. If you’re using any bots to follow and unfollow accounts for you, or like Instagram posts for you, they won’t work anymore.
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. This has affected a lot of shopping apps that help users keep track of items they are interested in purchasing via users Instagram “likes.”
If you’re using any apps to analyse your Instagram followers, or someone else’s followers, these will no longer work. This mainly affects analytics companies that would give you information about your follower demographics or how quickly you gained/lost followers.
Another major change is that personal accounts won’t be able to post or delete comments from anywhere except the Instagram API.
If you’re a business who uses apps to search for user-generated content on Instagram, you will be a bit more limited now. Instead of searching by users or posts you have liked, you can now only search by hashtag.
It’s important to note that Facebook has also made sweeping changes to the Facebook APIs as well.
So, why all the sudden Instagram changes?
Some have speculated that the early retirement of Instagram’s API endpoints is a reaction to the public pressure surrounding Facebook about private data as of late. Instagram itself alluded to this in their announcement on 4thApril. “To continuously improve Instagram users’ privacy and security, we are accelerating the deprecation of Instagram API Platform.”
So while the changes will certainly impact many types of legitimate businesses, they encourage personal privacy as they reduce the potential for abuse.
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