Facebook and Instagram have made many major changes over the course of 2018 to better protect their users' data and privacy. Almost every company that does business on Instagram has been affected by these changes. Our teams are working to ensure as little disruption as possible, but there will be a few changes to how you and your team use Instagram on the Cheetah Experience platform.
What is the Instagram API?
At the Cheetah Experience, we use the Instagram API to find and retrieve posts from Instagram. This includes creating feeds to pull Instagram content into social walls and collages, and retrieving Instagram entries to Hashtag giveaways and competitions.
Earlier this year, Instagram announced a new Instagram Graph API, along with plans to retire their existing Instagram API. Some changes happened in July 2018 and more are slated for December 2018.
What do Instagram's API Changes Mean For You?
You will be impacted by these changes if you use Cheetah Experience to manage Instagram feeds or channels, or you use hashtag competitions. Please read the following carefully and contact your CSM if you have any additional questions.
New authentication requirements
Today, users can authenticate Instagram feeds using their personal Instagram accounts or their company's Instagram account. With the new Instagram Graph API, in an effort to protect users and their data, Instagram only allows users to authenticate feeds under the following conditions:
- You need to sign-in using a Facebook account
- The Facebook account must have a role on a Facebook page
- The Facebook page must be associated with an Instagram Business Account
This workflow mostly impacts the feed creation process for Instagram content and data feeds but also will also impact connecting an account channel as well.
Platform feedback on feed authentication issues
Feeds that require updated authentication information will display an error when you open them:
There was an issue retrieving a list Instagram Business Accounts associated with this feed (The authentication details will need updating). Please ensure you connect your Facebook Page (Where you have any role) to the Instagram Business Account you wish to use. For more information, please see this knowledge base article.
For a complete run-through of how to set up your Facebook account on a Page and linking it to an Instagram business account see this article.
Important changes to Instagram feeds
Instagram Account Feed
Cheetah Experience currently has an Instagram Account feed which allows you to retrieve content from an account for which you have login credentials. This feed will continue to be operational through mid-year 2019, then you will need to use the new Instagram Business Account feed described below.
Recommendation: Migrate existing Instagram Account feeds to the new feed below.
New! Instagram Business Account Feed
We are introducing a new feed type called Instagram Business Account which allows you to retrieve content from an Instagram Business Account. It uses the new login process mentioned earlier but provides equivalent functionality to the feed above. Posts brought in using this feed type will provide the post itself as well as the username and avatar of the author. This will replace Cheetah Experience current Instagram Account Feed next year.
Recommendation: Use this feed whenever you need to retrieve content from your Instagram account(s).
Instagram Tag Search Feed
Cheetah Experience currently has an Instagram Tag Search feed which allows you to retrieve content from Instagram that uses a particular hashtag in its description or in author comments. This feed uses an existing Instagram API that will be removed on December 11th, 2018. You will need to use the feed below to continue retrieving hashtag-based content after this date.
Recommendation: For Instagram hashtag feeds that you need after December 11th, migrate them to the new feed below.
New! Instagram Hashtag Feed
We are introducing a new feed type called Instagram Hashtag feed. It uses the new login process mentioned earlier but provides equivalent search functionality to the feed above. As part of Instagram's drive to protect users' privacy, posts retrieved using a hashtag alone will no longer contain the user details of the author. This means that matching content and descriptions will be available but you will no longer be able to see the username or avatar for an Instagram post brought in using this feed. While the post can be presented in social displays, note that the author details will not be available.
The significant change is also around the age of content that we will be able to return. The new Instagram Hashtag Feed will only be able to return content from the last 24h from the time you activate it. Content will be returned regularly from that point onwards.
Recommendation: For Instagram hashtag feeds that you need after December 11th, you can use this feed but consider the impact of not having user details on your marketing activities. An alternative option would be to use the Instagram Photo Tag feed described below.
Instagram Geo-Search Feed
Cheetah Experience currently has an Instagram Geo-Search feed which allows you to retrieve content from Instagram posted from a particular geographic location. This feed uses an existing Instagram API that will be removed on December 11th, 2018. Unfortunately, Instagram has not provided a replacement API for geo-based searches so this feed will be deprecated in December.
New! Instagram Account Photo Tag Feed
We will be adding a new feed which will retrieve photos where your brand has been tagged in the photo itself. You will need to authenticate the feed using the login process outlined earlier. Posts brought in using this feed type will provide the post itself as well as the username and avatar of the author.
If you have any questions about the changes outlined above, please contact your Customer Success Manager who will be happy to advise you.