What the Instagram API Changes Mean for Every Social Media Marketer

Posted on: 06/06/18

By Gina Vo

Let’s start by reminiscing about Spring 2016. Crying Jordan got photoshopped onto just about anyone suffering a great roast, Beyoncé served us Lemonade, and many were enjoying Drake’s Views.

An API apocalypse was also approaching. Hitting the social world like a ton of bricks, Instagram announced that they planned to implement an algorithm that dictated the order of what you saw on your feed. Users, brands, and social media marketers everywhere were … fine. We complained, used an aardvark to express our restrained anger, and we. were. fine.

Although Facebook’s changes to the Instagram API in 2018 are a little more serious, with concerns over consumer privacy issues, let’s remember not to panic. 😃

Who ends up thriving? Brands that become agile and social media marketers who find workarounds to refine their strategy. So, what insights have been taken away and how can you adapt?

In short, Instagram’s latest API changes have reduced demographic, competitor, and influencer insights from third-party tools that you may have been using to monitor and analyze. We’ve graded the insights and features going away on a scale of 😯 to 😯😯😯😯.


Monitoring — 😯😯 

Simply a pain for community managers who used third-party tools to efficiently monitor and respond. We recommend using your Page’s Inbox for Facebook and Instagram interactions. 


Demographic Insights — 😯😯😯😯 

We felt like Instagram data around audiences was already limiting prior to the API changes. Number of profile visits and follows are still available via Instagram Insights. For all other insights that give you a better idea of who your audience is, we recommend choosing a third-party that is an official Instagram Partner. 


Competitor Insights — 😯😯 

Luckily, we are still able to view multiple competitors in one dashboard, but a competitor’s follower count will just be a manual pull. 


Influencer — 😯😯😯 

This will directly impact community managers who look for UGC and social media marketers who seed influencers by criteria such as follower count. Again, opt for a social listening tool that is an official Instagram API Partner to identify share-worthy UGC and influential accounts talking about your brand. 

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