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Everything You Need To Know About The Instagram API Change

As you may or may not be aware, Instagram has limited most third party access to its API over recent months. Whilst this has been a big issue for many, Whalar have still been allowed access due to the fact that we are an official Instagram and Facebook Partner, and we work extremely closely with the tech teams at both companies to ensure that we’re delivering you the best service possible.

Instagram is, however, continuing with their transition from the old “Instagram API” to the Facebook Graph API, and the time has now come to for us to move everyone over to the new system. The Graph API runs through Facebook, and links to your Instagram Business account. If you already have an Instagram Business account, then all you need to do is login and click the blue banner to reconnect your account:


After 1st October 2018, you will no longer be eligible for new campaigns until you connect your Instagram account via Facebook.

Not only will this allow you to continue working with Whalar, but it will also enable some exciting new features:

- Audience demographics directly from Instagram

- Reach, impressions, and profile views metrics

- Engagement, impressions, and reach of content

- Instagram stories data (both content and performance)


What is an API?

An API (Application Programming Interface) is an interface that allows two systems to communicate with each other.
If you give us permission, the Graph API allows Whalar to access certain data about your account from Facebook / Instagram. Any product that shows how many followers you have on Instagram will need to use an API to access that data.

Why is Instagram cutting off their API?

Instagram and Facebook are combining their APIs so there is one centralised system. While this was always planned, Instagram is moving forward with this quicker than previously scheduled due to concerns around data security.

What data will Whalar be able to access?

We will be able to access basic data about your account (that we were previously able to access under the Instagram API) such as your account handle, bio, number of followers, content, performance of content etc.

We will also be able to access some additional data such as:
- Audience demographics

- Reach, impressions, and profile views metrics

- Engagement, impressions, and reach of content

- Instagram stories data (both content and performance)

We will not be able to access private/sensitive data such as passwords or messages. It goes without saying, but we will not be able to do things such as upload content, follow or unfollow accounts, delete content or send direct messages from your account. We would never want to do these things anyway!

Will my Instagram Business account negatively impact my engagement?

No. While we understand that there are rumours that switching to a business account could negatively impact the organic reach of your account, this is not true.

Instagram have told us in private and also publicly clarified many times that business accounts are in no way penalised:

“We do not differentiate between a business account and a regular account on Instagram, your visibility is exactly the same.”

Whitney Rosenthal - Partnerships, Emerging Talent at Instagram

How do I switch to an Instagram Business account?

This article from Instagram sets out the process to switch over to a business account. It’s pretty easy to do, and you always have the option to switch back to a non business account if you change your mind.

There are a lot of benefits of having a business account, but the best ones are getting real-time metrics on how your stories and promoted posts perform throughout the day and getting insights into your followers (demographics!) and how they interact with your posts and stories.

You will need to connect your Instagram account to a Facebook page to switch over to a business account. If you have an existing Facebook page this is easy to do. If not, you can quickly and easily create one for this purpose.

Something we've missed? Let us know if you have any further questions by sending an email to hello@whalar.com.

Image by @drcuerda + @anniset.

Chelsea Carter

Chelsea Carter

Head of Content, Whalar