Instagram API: Master Guide for Influencers and Businesses

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Heidi Lang

Instagram 101 | Aug 07, 2023

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Instagram’s massive user base offers powerful marketing opportunities for brand growth and global connections. However, accessing and analyzing data without the right tools can be challenging. That’s where Instagram APIs come in. It simplifies the process and empowers both business owners and individuals alike.

With Instagram API, you can track hashtags, analyze your account’s performance and gather mention data to gauge audience sentiment. You can also publish Instagram photos on your website and much more.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the Instagram API’s definition and its common uses. We will also share how it can benefit businesses and influencers.

A person using Instagram on their phone

What Are Instagram APIs?

Since its inception, Instagram has become a social media phenomenon. It caught the attention of developers with its massive potential. But it still wasn’t at its peak. So, to further enhance user experience and provide powerful tools, Instagram introduced Instagram APIs.

Instagram’s diverse range of APIs is a treasure trove of valuable tools and services for the vibrant Instagram community. You can only imagine how much businesses and developers can do with these APIs. They can creatively manage user experiences while tapping into Instagram’s extensive data and functionalities.

It’s like a crucial bridge that connects third-party apps to the goldmine of data on the platform. With its powerful use, developers gain access to abundant resources. This allows them to create seamless solutions that amp up their apps or services.

With Instagram APIs, businesses can connect with their audience more effectively and deliver exceptional user experiences.

Types of Instagram APIs

Instagram APIs have come a long way, linking third-party business apps to boost functionality. The Public API was once popular, granting user and competitor data access. But, for data privacy reasons, Instagram developers replaced it with more controlled versions. 

After Facebook acquired Instagram, it divided the Public API into the following Instagram APIs, each serving unique third-party needs.      

Two women are recording an Instagram Story

Instagram Graph API

The Instagram Graph API is a revolutionary tool that fuels captivating experiences for your audience. With this powerful API, you can access user accounts, posts, and stories, unlocking valuable insights into user behavior and interactions.

Now you can offer unique services, empowering customers to respond to comments, analyze insights, and search hashtags like a pro. Plus, brands can track up to 30 hashtags within seven days, maximizing your social media game.

It’s a transformative opportunity for Instagram Business and Creator accounts.

Instagram Basic Display API

The Instagram Basic Display API caters to non-business profiles. It grants apps access to users’ basic profile info and media like photos and videos. This API enables developers to display public content on websites or apps in a user-friendly manner.

It’s a versatile tool allowing people to import their Instagram media, connect their profiles, and more with third-party apps. From the beginning, Instagram has integrated the Basic Display API. It empowers users to access essential profile data, audience-targeted photos, and videos.

Who can use it? Everyone on Instagram, including Personal, Business, and Creator account owners, can leverage the API’s functionalities.

Instagram API Documentation

Instagram API documentation is your roadmap to mastering the platform’s capabilities. It provides access to Instagram data, enabling developers to build innovative applications and integrations.                

Instagram Developer API

As an Instagram developer, you are key to unlocking innovative solutions that enhance user experiences. Instagram Developer API offers comprehensive guides and resources for developers to understand and implement API functionalities effectively.

Instagram Private API

While Instagram’s official APIs offer incredible benefits, some developers explore Instagram Private API for unconventional use cases. It is unofficial and unsupported. This API may involve potential risks as it allows users to interact with Instagram outside official channels.      

A woman is scrolling through an Instagram Profile

What Data Can You Get With Instagram’s API?

Here is the data you can get with Instagram API:

  • Instagram Profiles: You can access a wealth of Instagram public profile data using target profile IDs or usernames. Key data includes ID, username, bio, profile photo, business category, language, gender, and age recognition from the latest photos. You can also learn about followers, following, and post counts.
  • Instagram Post: With the Instagram API, access ample post data using post IDs or target public profiles. You can obtain post content, language, hashtags, tagged users, owner ID, and location ID. It also shares engagement info (likes, comments, video views) and URLs of attachments (videos, images). Additionally, you can download comments and replies with data on owner ID, text, and “likes” count.
  • Instagram Search: With our Instagram API, search for posts by hashtags or locations using corresponding lists of hashtags or IDs. Receive a detailed list of the latest posts with relevant data. Customize your query with additional parameters like tagged posts, maximum post count, comments fetching, and more. Filter results by date, text search query, and language to refine your search.

Benefits of Using Instagram APIs

Instagram API offers benefits for businesses and developers:

  1. Enhance Engagement: With the Instagram API, developers can craft interactive user experiences, boosting audience engagement. UGC integration and live feed displays encourage active participation, showcasing authentic content and fostering community and trust. Real-time content exploration further connects users to the brand.
  2. Seamless Integration: API access simplifies the integration of Instagram features into external platforms. It allows brands to enhance websites and apps with user-generated content and trending hashtags. Seamlessly incorporating Instagram feeds and stories fosters deeper connections, keeping users engaged and increasing conversion rates.
  3. Maximize Reach and Visibility: With billions of active users, Instagram presents chances for businesses to connect and engage with a vast customer base. This increases the potential of a brand’s social reach and expands brand visibility.
  4. Improved Customer Support: Instagram APIs help businesses provide efficient customer support using automated responses and chatbots. Real-time engagement offers timely solutions, fostering a positive experience and building brand loyalty. The API also enables tracking brand-related mentions and hashtags, facilitating data-driven decisions to enhance products and services.
  5. Boost Sales: Instagram utilizes the API for enhanced product placement and targeted marketing. Brands can tailor offerings to customer likes and preferences and include a “Shop” button on posts and ads, maximizing sales and cross-selling potential.
  6. Scalability and Automation: Instagram API allows businesses to automate various processes, saving time and resources. For example, it enables content scheduling on Instagram posts in advance, monitors content performance, and analyzes data through automation. This helps owners and marketing teams free up personnel to focus on other essential tasks.
  7. Collaboration Opportunities: Instagram’s API fosters brand-influencer collaborations, creating partnership opportunities. Brands can find influencers aligned with their values and audience, while influencers connect with like-minded brands. The API offers insights into an influencer’s reach, engagement, and audience, aiding informed collaboration decisions.    

A person is holding a phone and analyzing Instagram metrics

How To Use Instagram for Business With Instagram’s API

The Instagram API offers a variety of functions for your business. Specifically, the Instagram Graph API allows for numerous uses. But do you know how to use Instagram for business with APIs?

Let’s explore some popular ways businesses leverage the Instagram API.

  • Use data for social proof: Hashtags play a significant role on Instagram, with users tagging brands and using brand-specific hashtags. The Instagram API can track mentions and hashtag performance and fetch images. You can use this data on your page or website as social proof.
  • Increase followers: Avoid the risk of account suspension by ditching bot followers. Instagram API lets you target the right audience organically. Identify brand enthusiasts and engage them as unofficial ambassadors, spreading the word and gaining genuine followers for your profile.
  • Keep track of the latest trends: In today’s time, one thing that may hold a business entity back is not staying relevant to the latest trends. Using API Instagram, you will remain ahead on social media by staying updated with the latest trends. You will also gain insights into trending content on Instagram.                    
  • Set up campaigns: There’s great potential for you to engage your audience on Instagram through exciting contests. Using the Instagram API, you can gather all posts tagged with your contest or campaign hashtag. This will help you drive customer engagement to new heights. Get creative and boost your brand’s interaction with customers.
  • Schedule posts on your account: One of the most requested features, Instagram enables content publishing with the Instagram Graph API. This helps businesses manage their presence on the app more effectively and organically. Instagram business account users can schedule posts, view tags from other accounts, and check out other business profiles.

How to Access Instagram APIs

Getting through the process of accessing the Instagram API is pretty simple. It involves registering as a developer and obtaining API keys. We’ve documented the process step-by-step below:

  1. Register as a Developer: Kickstart the process by signing up as a developer on the Instagram Developer website (https://developers.facebook.com/). Alternatively, use your Facebook account for registration.
  2. Create a New App: Once done, click “Create App.” Then, you’ll select the platform (iOS, Android, or Web) where you’ll use the Instagram API.
  3. Configure Your App Settings: Provide details like the app name, description, privacy policy URL, category, and contact email.
  4. Add Products: In the app settings, add “Instagram Graph API” to access the Instagram API.
  5. Authenticate Your App: Follow the OAuth 2.0 authentication process to allow users to grant your app permission to access their Instagram data securely.
  6. Obtain API Keys: After authentication, get API Instagram keys, including an App ID and App Secret, which are essential for making API requests.
  7. Review and Approval: Instagram will review your app to ensure compliance with its policies. It will also verify that your use case aligns with its guidelines.
  8. Handle Rate Limits: Instagram sets rate limits on API requests to prevent abuse. Ensure your app handles rate limits properly to avoid disruptions.

The Best Free Instagram API Examples

Check out these awesome free Instagram API examples for developers and businesses. These can help you elevate your Instagram presence and engage with your audience better.

  • Instagram Analytics: This API is your go-to source for valuable insights into your Instagram account. It dishes out Instagram follower list demographics, engagement rates, and post-performance, empowering businesses with a deeper understanding of their audience.
  • Instagram Data: With Instagram Data API, you can access public Instagram data. It’s like having your very own data goldmine.
  • Instagram Stories: The Instagram Stories API is your ticket to building nifty apps to view and upload Instagram users’ Stories data.
  • TwineSocial: The platform can add pizzazz to your social media strategy. It helps businesses gather, curate, and flaunt user-generated content from Instagram and other social media platforms.
  • Hashtagy: It’s your personal hashtag genius, generating and suggesting relevant and trending hashtags for your Instagram posts. It can help you skyrocket your post discoverability and reach. 

Chat symbols with hashtags

Instagram APIs Best Practices and Safety Measures

Using the Instagram API requires responsible practices to ensure user safety and data security. Here are key best practices to follow:

  • Comply with Instagram’s API Usage Policy: Instagram has specific guidelines and terms of service that developers must follow when using the API. Reviewing and complying with these policies is crucial to avoid any violations. Not doing so could result in account suspension or termination of API access.
  • Use Authorized Access: Developers should only access data that users have explicitly authorized them to use. Obtain consent from users before accessing their data and communicate how you will use it.
  • Secure API Tokens: Users can use API access tokens to authenticate requests to the Instagram API. It is vital to keep them secure and avoid exposing them in publicly accessible areas of your code or repositories.
  • Monitor API Usage: Regularly monitor API usage to identify any unusual activity that might indicate unauthorized access or misuse of the API. Implement robust logging and reporting mechanisms to track API requests and responses, ensuring your application operates within acceptable usage parameters.
  • Respect User Privacy: Having access to user data doesn’t mean you can use it for whatever purpose you feel is right. Ensure you only use the data for what you have consent for from the users. Also, secure user data by preventing its sharing or sale to third parties without explicit user consent.
  • Prioritize User Experience: Design your application with the user’s experience in mind. Steer clear of intrusive or spammy actions for a positive user experience.
  • Review Third-Party Services: Prioritize compliance with Instagram’s policies and safety measures when integrating third-party API services. Prioritize adherence for a seamless and secure experience. Unscrupulous third-party services could compromise user data and affect your application’s reputation.
  • Implement Data Encryption: When transmitting sensitive user data between your application and the Instagram API, use encryption protocols such as HTTPS. This ensures data privacy and prevents unauthorized interception.

Instagram APIs Open Possibilities

With the Instagram API, influencers and businesses can unlock the potential of social media, opening a world of opportunities. This powerful tool opens possibilities, offering valuable data insights and increased engagement. Moreover, you will be able to build a thriving community of followers.

With the Instagram API by your side, you’ll embark on a journey of social influence and success. It will maximize your impact and reach like you never imagined. So, plunge into the exciting world of social media empowerment, and watch your brand soar to new heights.

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