Instagram Changed Its API, And Now Your Version On Digital Signs Probably Isn’t Working

If your digital signage or digital OOH network calls and displays Instagram posts/pix, you may well have an issue because of API changes made by the social media company.

The short story is – a lot of what you show may no longer show. If you don’t have logins for Instagram account you want to show, sorry. If you put stuff up based on hashtags (risky to begin with), that is now limited.

What’s already up on your screens is fine. It’s cached anyway. You just won’t get updates.

Tim Sae Koo, CEO of the excellent social media collection, curation and visualization company Tint, pushed out a message to customers this evening. And I quote:
Effective today, April 4, 2018, Instagram deployed changes to their API without advance notice, affecting all users of the Instagram API for access to Instagram data.
 
The user-generated content currently in use on your properties is not affected. However, due to these changes TINT is unable to provide your account with certain features related to Instagram. Here is the impact on your account:
  • Aggregating posts from any unowned Instagram (IG) accounts (@username) is no longer possible
    • Aggregating hashtag content still works, but is affected by additional rate limiting
    • Aggregating posts from any IG handle that you have login credentials for still works. If you owned @TINT Instagram handle with login credentials, you can still aggregate posts from that account.
  • Acquiring rights for IG posts via commenting through TINT is no longer possible(alternative solution below)
  • Author profile images and full names are no longer aggregated and will no longer show on posts in TINT
    • Author username handle (@username) will still exist and show up on posts
  • IG followers data are no longer accessible
    • Filtering posts by followers in the TINT filter bar will no longer be available
    • Impact analytics (ie impressions) will be affected
We are hard at work and have come up with workarounds for the changes stated above. We will be changing the TINT platform by:
  • Removing the ability to connect any IG handles that you do not have login credentials for
    • You will still be able to add any IG handle that you have login credentials for. For example, if you owned @TINT Instagram handle with login credentials, you can still aggregate posts from that account.
  • Changing the rights acquisition flow for IG posts to use IG direct messages instead of commenting
  • Adding placeholders for author profile photos on IG posts
    • IG posts from your own branded account that you have login credentials forwill continue to have profile photos and author full name
  • Removing the ability to filter by follower count for IG feeds in the TINT filter bar
We sincerely apologize for these sudden changes as we (and the whole industry) were just alerted today after Instagram made these changes ahead of their schedule. I promise we are hard at work to maintain and improve TINT’s value as a content engine by releasing appropriate workarounds. We will continue to monitor any changes and communicate with you as we learn more. If you have any feedback or suggestions, please reach out so we can best serve you.

I know companies directly in the signage business, like Insteo, that had to always be at the ready for  an API change on services like Twitter – which happened, and suddenly nothing or almost nothing would work.Some CMS developers may be having a late night(s) if this is a significant widget/gadget/thingie among the company’s apps and offers.

Dave Haynes

Dave Haynes

Editor/Founder at Sixteen:Nine
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for more than 12 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He's based near Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Dave Haynes

@sixteennine

13-year-old blog & podcast about digital signage & related tech, written by consultant, analyst & BS filter Dave Haynes. DNA test - 90% Celt/10% Viking. 😏😜🍺
Agreed. Hat tip to the 5,500+ who filled the stands. One other thing: fix the crap audio. Sounds like Radio Voice… https://t.co/1BrAOBJ2SI - 12 hours ago
Dave Haynes

4 thoughts on “Instagram Changed Its API, And Now Your Version On Digital Signs Probably Isn’t Working”

  1. Yes, this was scheduled for July 31st and some other abilities for December 11th. Instagram says its for security, I wonder what the issue is – maybe related to the problems their Facebook platform is facing in the news right now.

    Screenfeed offers Instagram functionality in our Social Apps offering and we’re at work notifying customers of what they can still do with our app (Pulling content from their own account still works) and resolving what is now not going to work.

  2. That’s really a serious concern for those whose are operating their digital signage through Instagram API. Thank you for this information.
    But is they working on resolving that or not?

  3. This is part of the ongoing wrestle our industry has with (unpaid!) 3rd party data vendors. Explaining events like this to clients is always tricky, since the expectation is set by their handheld device – “well, it works here!”.

    Events like this demonstrate why I prefer offloading social media integration work to a vendor dedicated to keeping the conduit alive (such as ScreenFeed). I can’t imagine waking up today and having to deal with droves of clients calling me about their feeds been down and having to roll-out hundreds of on-prem changes.

    My thoughts are with people dealing with this today! Everyone needs to bookmark this event and be prepared to present it as a “what if?” in the future.

  4. It’s not a solution for their security concern. Don’t give access to our own account is like they are losing their own customers by keeping their own data secret.

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