In June 2021, during Meta's first-ever 'Creator Week', Mark Zuckerberg shared his vision about creators:
"I think that any good vision of the future has to involve a lot more people being able to make a living by expressing their creativity and by doing things they want to do, rather than things they have to — and having the tools and the economy around them to support their work is critical," he said. "Our goal is to be the best platform for creators like you to make a living."
A few weeks later, Zuckerberg went even further, announcing that Facebook plans to invest $1 billion in creators by the end of 2022. According to him, the investments would fund bonus programs, creator funds, and other monetization programs to boost all stripes of creators on its platform.
Fast-forward to October 2022, when many Meta-related features, including the Instagram creator search, were wiped from Grin: a popular creator management platform. The platform removed unauthenticated Instagram creators and the campaigns and content they've made for their partner brand. The companies working with Grin were left in a lurch with less than a week to ensure their prospect, creator, and influential customer lists, along with existing content and reports, were downloaded before they vanished from the platform.
These separate incidents show the two parts of Meta's stance on the creator economy:
- Meta believes that the creator economy is the future and will back it thoroughly.
- Meta (and other social media platforms) are tightening their grip on third-party data. They will only allow first-party, creator-consented data to be taken from their platform.
With more and more creators boarding Meta's platform, creator-economy tools like influencer marketing platforms are left with little choice but to have first-party data integrations.
However, let's see why that can be a boon for influencer marketing platforms and other creator economy businesses.
What is first-party data?
First-party data is information collected directly from your users or site visitors based on their interactions with your platform. This data is usually accessible by leveraging the APIs that most social media platforms today provide. Some examples include Instagram's Graph API and YouTube's API.
Third-party data, on the other hand, is collected by scraping the web for any and every publicly available information. It involves collecting data from websites, cleaning it up, and organizing it in a structured form that can be analyzed.
Third-party data vs. First-party data
The main difference between first and third-party data is the source platform. With first-party data infrastructure, you get real-time, reliable data directly from social media platforms like Facebook, TikTok, etc. This results in improved quality and fewer errors.
Privacy and consent are another huge differentiation. With API integration, there's usually an agreement with the platform and/or creator about using their data.
Third-party data is only available for public information. With APIs (depending on the platform), you can access data points only visible to creators and crucial to your business.
Last but not least. With Meta starting the trend, it would be wise for businesses to expect other social media platforms also to ban third-party data scraping. Companies need to invest in first-party data infrastructure now!
However, Facebook doesn't allow any application to integrate with its platform. Developers need to adhere to its ever-changing rules and regulations. Let's have a look at Facebook's platform terms and developer policies.
Policies for API integration with Facebook
The official FB documentation's terms and policies clearly state that developers "must comply with our Platform Terms and Developer Policies to remain active on our platform."
Below are some important conditions. You can read the entire document here.
If you violate any of Facebook's terms or policies your app and possibly your account will be enforced upon. Enforcement actions vary depending on the severity and nature of the violation, the developer's policy compliance history, and the violation's impact on users. Enforcement actions for policy violations may include (but are not limited to) any of the following:
- A warning
- Restricting the app's ability to perform certain actions for a period of time (e.g., posting content)
- Revocation of approved permissions and features
- Deactivation and removal of the application
- Deactivation and deletion of developer account
Incentivization Policy violation
According to Facebook's incentivization policies deep dive, Developers can - Only incentivize a person to log into their app, enter a promotion on your App's Page or Instagram, check-in at a place, or to use Messenger to communicate with their business. They should not incentivize any other action.
For example, if an application says: Share this post with 5 friends, and for each friend you share it with, we will give you 5 dollars or points, this can create a negative experience for the content recipients and compromise the integrity of Facebook.
Meta Platform Terms
Developers must also comply with the applicable requirements in our Developer Policies and those made available on our Developer Site, including in our Documentation collectively, the "Developer Docs")
You can read the entire terms and conditions here.
The issues with FB API integration
While FB APIs is one of the best ways to get first-party data, sticking to the multiple and nuanced policies, as stated above, takes a lot of work for influencer marketing agencies.
The problem multiplies when it comes to accessing multiple platform APIs. You'll have to dedicate significant time, energy, and engineering resources to build the entire data infrastructure to fuel your business to access first-party, creator-consented data.
Also, it takes a lot of work for a company to understand all the different technologies required to integrate multiple social media APIs. You need to know about authentication, data mapping, rate limiting, security, and more.
Moreover, you are in the business of helping creators grow. So your priority will be to build new tools and features that help creators, not build the entire data infrastructure for it.
This is where the social media API integration solution comes into the picture. It builds, manages, and takes care of platform policies while working with different APIs.
Phyllo: The Universal API
Phyllo is an API gateway to access creator and independent work platforms (e.g., Meta, YouTube, Instagram, Twitch, TikTok, Shopify, Upwork, and more). Using Phyllo, developers can access creators' and independent workers' consented data directly from source platforms.
Instead of thousands of developers building their integrations with YouTube, TikTok, Patreon, Spotify, and Instagram and then maintaining and troubleshooting them, Phyllo helps simplify and package this process into a single easy-to-integrate API.
We are constantly improving our APIs so you can get the best creator economy data infrastructure with just a few clicks.
Schedule a call to learn more about how Phyllo can empower your business in the creator economy.
Want to test the waters before you go ahead? Sign up for a free account to access creator data with Phyllo APIs.