Instagram Graph API: Who is it good for?

Find ways to use Instagram API when building an application

Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms today, with over 1 billion active users. On average, an Instagram user spends 29 minutes a day on Instagram. With a huge amount of active users, Instagram has become one of the hottest places for businesses to sell or promote their products and services. 

To market a product/service effectively, businesses need to know where they are succeeding and where they need improvement. Here is where developers of the creator economy come into play. By building new tools for the creator economy, they help businesses manage their presence on Instagram and discover what it takes to stay ahead of the game. 

Developers can use Instagram’s Graph API to retrieve user media, manage and reply to comments on their media, find media where a business or a user have been @mentioned by other Instagram users, find media based on hashtags, and get basic metadata and metrics about other Instagram Businesses and Creators. This article will explore various use cases for each subset of Instagram Graph API endpoints. Depending on your requirements, you can tap into the API endpoints that are relevant to you. 

Insights API

Insights API allows you to get social interaction metrics, such as likes/dislikes, impressions, reach, etc., for Instagram users/media objects, letting you identify the most popular content, which can be used to conduct research, glean marketing insights or publish related content in the future. With this data, you can analyze if the content or campaign is doing well by pulling the data the followers are sharing, you can gauge how well it’s received by what they are saying, to get an idea of how users are responding to a particular product, service or topic. 

Example Business Use-case

With the data collected from Insights API, you can set up a contest that encourages people to take photos of your business in action. You can let your audience “vote” for the winner through likes and feature the most liked pictures on your Instagram and website as finalists. You will simultaneously increase engagement and get a hoard of fabulous photos to post on your website and social media platforms throughout the rest of the year. You can even go a step further and bring these Instagram photos offline. 

With the help of User/Media API, you can build a media kit that lets users showcase their content, feature recent posts, and show the content analytics on your application. Building a media kit can give creators the ability to build their digital resumes using your application, where they can curate and flaunt their content, account metrics, etc. You can go a step further and create a live feed of content that is curated by the creators that are updated as and when changes occur on the source platform. 

Hashtag search API:

Using hashtag search API you can find data from specific hashtags, pull images from certain hashtags, and publish them on your site in real time which can be useful in promoting your social media accounts to your website visitors. You can also pull content based on where it was posted geographically. When you search with geotags, you can see trending content in a particular location and continue getting live updates. This is very useful if you are targeting a specific location with your marketing campaign. If you want to follow what’s happening around the globe, simply search for locations you’re interested in. You can also use this Instagram API to find your own or competitors’ hashtags and evaluate their performance. 

Example Business Use-case

Using the APIs - IG Media, IG User Media, and Hashtag search, you can choose to pull the photos a creator has uploaded on their account or the photos posted with a particular hashtag. For example, you can launch a contest where your buyers can post a cool photograph or video of their experience with your product, adding the relevant hashtags. Then you can select a winner randomly and display the best submissions on your social media wall. Or you can create a mosaic of photos captioned with a particular hashtag and later use this in giveaways by creating personalized gifts that can be distributed to whoever participated in the event. 

Mentions API

The Instagram API will allow you to identify captions, comments, and media in which an Instagram Business or Creator Account’s alias has been tagged or @ mentioned across the platform. You can use this API to showcase a large following or high levels of engagement. This is an element of social proof, which is essential for business success. 

Example Business Use-case

If you own a business on Instagram, you can see which products people like the most, take the most photos of or how people use it in real life. You can also see patterns in user error that impact their experience negatively. It will help you come up with solutions to educate users or make the next version better.

What should you know about integrating with Instagram Graph API

While integrating your application with Instagram API can bring so many advanced capabilities to your application, it does come with a baggage of its own. Some of them are:

  1. To integrate with Instagram API, developers have to have a working prototype of the app, request access to the permissions, and write a summary of how they will use each of the permissions. After all of that, you will have to wait 5-7 days to get a response. After which you may receive some feedback, which you will have to implement and resend your proposal. 
  2. When Instagram deprecates or updates an API, developers need to migrate to the new endpoints, since it can impact the app’s functionality. To ensure no downtime, developers need to constantly check these updates and meet the requirements. These API changes mean that third-party solutions will need to re-submit their platforms. 
  3. Developers need to build complicated systems to poll account data on a daily basis to fetch new content and update existing content, a problem that becomes extremely complex with scale, once you cross 10-15k users on Instagram.
  4. Management of user access tokens can be challenging on a larger scale. After a specified inactive period, the access token will expire or become invalid and you will not be permitted to make requests on the API. Since you do not receive any notifications on session expiry or disconnection, you have to be on your toes to ensure the token is not expired or revoked. 

Frictionless access to Instagram data

Since Phyllo has direct integration with the source platform, you can get access to first-party credible data on performance and videos as provided by Instagram. At Phyllo, we have highly credible and professional teams working with the Instagram APIs familiar with the API changes who can switch to the new API without affecting your app functionality. This means you will automatically get the new API updates without the need to do any re-connection. Phyllo handles the end-to-end data management along with the complete access token lifecycle and uses smart webhooks to notify you of changes to content, profiles, etc. 

To give Phyllo a try, sign up for our free version here. We will schedule a personalized demo with you and walk you through the complete onboarding process.

Keerthika Sree S
Content at Phyllo

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