And we're live!
You may not be familiar with the Instagram Graph API yet, but you'll soon realize it's happy dance worthy!
It's been a busy April to say the least with lots of supripses in the social media listening space.
Hundreds of posts have been written by Instagram partners and platform developers describing the recent Instagram API changes and their impact on marketing operations. We won't bore you with the technical or political details.
During events like this, people tend to jump to the airwaves and proudly announce some unique insight or access but nothing could be further from the truth. As the deprecation timelines moved up, we got to work building and are now heading into the weekend with big smiles and a happy team.
While the on-boarding can use a bit more polish, as of today all of the following are all supported within your Candid collections:
- Montioring all account mentions (within comments or captions)
- Monitoring content where your account was tagged in the photo
- Requesting rights on an any of the above
- Responding to comments on any of the above or your own content
You'll start to see messaging on your dashboard over the next week requiring your Facebook account to be connected, if you can kindly complete this step it will activate the full range of functionality for you.
The Uncertain Future of Hashtags
[This post was originally published 3 week before F8, for a post-F8 update, please see: Instagram Graph API Support for Hashtags is Coming]
Noticablly absent from the new Instagram Graph API is the public content access that allows for monitoring of hashtags. Based on Instagram's revised announacement, all remaining capabilities to read public media on a user's behalf will be deprecated on December 11, 2018.
After the initial developer backlash in February, Facebook released a statement assuring 3rd-party platforms that "[they] are looking into providing a read only public media hashtag search endpoint with overlap in supporting hashtag read only on legacy and graph api to ensure a smooth transition."
But it's clear Cambridge Analytica and GDPR have changed the conservation and expectations around opt-in and 3rd party access. Our view is that Facebook will not be supporting hashtag listening beyond December. Of course, anything is possible and December is a long way away. For now, it's safe to bet on @mentions as the new hashtag as they are the clearest indication that a business was invited into a conversation.
Some of our travel and tourism brands are concerned that not being able to comment and obtain rights to media sourced from hashtag or location endpoints could serverly reduce the volume of content they can access. It's definitely a valid concern as most travel users are conditioned to tagging locations. However, given that Instagram locations are powered by Facebook Places which map to a Facebook handle, they might be able to support webhooks notifications much in the same way as they do for other brand mentions. There is a petition encouraging Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer to reconsider this and we encourage customers that are impacted to sign it.
Why the sudden urgency to deprecate the old Instagram API?
This is a great question and while we don't want to speculate, it's clear the old Instagram API was living on borrowed time. This original Instagram Platform API exposed broad capabilities that were effectively intended to allow developers to build Instagram clients of their own, something that was quite trendy back in 2012-2014! The original API always lacked the reduced visibility features that are critical to the security and safety of modern Facebook APIs. While a series of bolt-on restrictions were rolled-out over 2012-2018, the original API was still too porous with respect to the data of "friends" made available to 3rd party applications.
Collaboration > Competition