In May 2018, Instagram made changes to its API and removed access to certain information across its platform to create a more secure environment for its users, better protect their privacy, and reduce the amount of spam on the platform. These changes aim to make Instagram a better community, and we support their efforts while keeping Chute customers' best interests at heart. This article provides information that serves as a reference to the changes made to the Instagram API as of May 2018.
What Is an API?
- An API is a code that allows two software programs to communicate with each other.
- One program can call another program’s API to get access to the data or functionality of the other program.
- Instagram controls its API and determines what data they will send back to a requesting third party.
- The changes they have made have restricted some of these requests: restricting the ability of third parties to collect and display certain Instagram data.
If you want to know more about REST APIs, you can refer to the article Representational state transfer.
What Has Instagram Removed From Its API in May 2018?
- The ability to post comments to Instagram through third-party applications has been removed. This is the reason why the Chute Browser plugin was introduced.
- Content can no longer be ‘liked’ through third-party applications, including in a Workflow step, in the Library, or from the Lightbox.
- Importing content from a specific username is no longer available in the Workflow subscriptions; usernames will not be searchable in the Search tab or within Pages.
- Comments on a post are no longer available to import and will be removed from Lightbox and Displays.
- The ability to import any user information, including a user’s real name, has been removed. This affects Lightbox and Displays.
- With the limitation of public content returned on specific user accounts like Following Count, Follower Count, and Follower List, Social Reach Reports are no longer available to run because they rely on these counts to calculate reach.
Details of the Changes and Features Affected
Home Tab: Social Reach Report
With the limitation of public content returned on specific user accounts like Following Count, Follower Count, and Follower List, Social Reach Reports are no longer available to run because they rely on these counts to calculate reach.
This report is shown in the Home tab, which includes the number of assets coming in via hashtag, the number of impressions on your Chute-powered display, top-clicked media, and most influential users, as shown in the image below.
Manage Tab: (Workflows) Subscriptions
A subscription is a type of workflow input that allows you to set up a time-based campaign to pull assets using hashtags, users, and @mentions. Due to this API change, importing content from Instagram usernames will no longer be available. Twitter usernames, though, will continue to be available along with the hashtags and @mentions options.
Manage Tab: (Workflows) Asset Tile View
The ability to post comments to Instagram through third-party applications has been removed. Thus, commenting directly on the post through Chute is no longer available. The exception to this is @mentions, where a user specifically mentions a brand’s username in either their caption or comment.
Content can no longer be ‘liked’ through third-party applications, including in a workflow step, in the library, or from the lightbox. The ability to import/display any user information, including a user’s real name, has been removed.
Tile view before May 2018:
Tile view after May 2018:
Notice that the like (heart) and the comment (word bubble) icons are no longer available.
Manage Tab: (Workflows) Asset Lightbox View
Comments on a post are no longer available to import and are removed from the Lightbox view. The ability to import or display any user information including a user’s real name has also been removed.
The Lightbox view before May 2018:
The Lightbox view after May 2018:
The usernames are no longer searchable after the May 2018 update. However, the Search feature has been totally removed in Dec 2018 after the Instagram API Deprecation.
The image below shows the old Search function: