Okay, “murdering” is an overstatement, but to be fair, Instagram announced at the end of January that they’d be making some API changes this year. Like, MAJOR API changes.
We are launching three new features on the Instagram Graph API designed to help businesses better manage their organic presence on Instagram
The keyword is “ORGANIC”. We get it, Marky Zucky is cracking down and making Facebook newsfeeds more relevant to users by serving more family and friend posts and fewer posts from Business Pages, and Instagram is just following in its footsteps.
The Instagram API changes will be helpful in combatting spammers, but what does this actually mean to people using external tools to manage their Instagram? Let’s take a look.
Changes to Following & Commenting on Instagram
The following will be available until July 31, 2018:
- Follower List – to read the list of followers and followed-by users
- Relationships – to follow and unfollow accounts on a user’s behalf
- Commenting on Public Content – to post and delete comments on a user’s behalf on public media
This basically indicates that any tools that automate the following/unfollowing process will be null. And not only automated tools but also ones like Follow Cop, where it will pull up a list of your non-followers and then you manually unfollow them will be useless too.
The “Commenting on Public Content” is to kill the comment spam, which I’m 100% behind. I’m not the first to complain about automated comments on Instagram photos that don’t make sense. For a while, I entertained myself by responding to them, but that got old quick.
Changes to Likes, Data Scanning & Notifications on Instagram
The following will be available until December 11, 2018:
- Commenting – to post and delete comments on a user’s behalf on owned media
- Public Content – to read any public profile info and media on a user’s behalf
- Likes – to like and unlike media on a user’s behalf
- Subscriptions – to receive notifications when media is posted
Consider this an early Christmas present from Instagram (possibly a terrible one). Automated responses to comments on your own photos will be disabled (I actually didn’t know that was a thing!) and mining data from Instagram accounts won’t be allowed anymore. Likes/unlikes is self-explanatory, basically, you can’t use an app to like or unlike people’s photos. But, to be honest, this was one of my favorite features of the now defunct Instagress app. Anddd, lastly, you know when you are stalking someone and want to know when they post on their Instagram feed? You won’t be able to do that anymore. Womp womp.
How to Work Around the Instagram API Changes
There will ALWAYS be smart nerds who can build something that works around these changes. Before Instagram announced that you can now schedule content to be automatically posted for you, there were a plethora of tools that existed to do this for you. So yes, while these changes won’t be implemented until July and December, there are already people working to find around it. So, if you do insist on using tools that break the terms and conditions of Instagram, fear not, I’m sure there will be something for you.
What API Changes Mean to True Instagram Influencers
If your audience is legit and you grow your following organically by posting quality content, using targeted hashtags, etc. you’ll be safe. You probably will be thankful that there will be less of the follow/unfollow madness and less spam on your account.
Phony Instagram Influencers & New API Changes
If your a fake it til you make it influencer, sorry babe, looks like you are going to have to wait for more blackhat tools to be released or try a different platform.
What are your thoughts on the changes? Will it affect the way you use Instagram for your business or your personal brand?