Instagram API shutdown : the good, the bad and the ugly

instagram  API

On the January 30th, Instagram announced  the launch of the Instagram Graph API and the deprecation of the Instagram API Platform

While it is still not completely clear what will be next, there are a few interesting points to be discussed:

The good😊

  • A new way to access Instagram data is coming: the Instagram graph API.
  • This API is specifically designed for brands and businesses, and has novel features such as insights, business discovery and comments moderation.
  • In 2019, an updated version of the graph API will include basic permission for non-business profiles .

The bad😐

  • The old Instagram API will be progressively shut down and completely removed in 2020.
  • All the workflows and products using the old API will need to be updated.

The ugly😨

  • Hashtag search will be shut down in early 2019.
  • The reachable audience will be limited to people directly engaging with brands (but this might change).


What are the business implications of this for Market Research and Social Media Intelligence companies? 

The shutdown of the Instagram API has an impact on their methodologies and workflows because of course, they want to use Instagram data to uncover insights. The big implication is how. They will have to change the way they work in regards their methodologies and workflows. The good thing is that this generates new opportunities and methodologies for the sector.  

Is Instagram the first to safeguard their data? Are there other social media platforms will follow suit?

There are already other social networks that are not completely open - for instance, Facebook. This is a trend and as we know, data is the new oil. This means that if you are a social network connecting billions on data points, you want to safeguard the data and keep for yourself, so you can harvest value from it. 

What are the other big trends on social media today?

The big trends are the closed networks such as Snapchat and WhatsApp. However the challenge is how brands can participate in those private conversations: there is very little room for activities there.

We need to invent a new approach for really harvesting insights and value from this data.   

Are there alternative methods to harvest insights from social media?

Social media listening is based on a passive approach: listening to what consumers are saying without engagement. Maybe an active and programmatic approach where we can ask consumers questions would be a good complement.

Check out our video for more thoughts and potential solutions:



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