Instagram is stepping up the number of features available to businesses that use the image-sharing social network to spread their branding messages. Specifically, it has updated the Instagram Graph API and added tools businesses are sure to appreciate. Moving forward, businesses will be able to schedule posts, view posts in which they've been tagged, and peruse the profiles of other businesses that use Instagram.
The Instagram Graph API is based on the Facebook Graph API. It is a standard REST API that supports basic CRUD operations. The Instagram API consists of nodes (objects), edges (collections) on those nodes, and fields (object properties). It already allows businesses to view organic insights and moderate comments.
Instagram says the added features allow for better content planning and secure account management. It does this primarily by removing the need for employees to have or share account login credentials in order to gain account access. The ability to schedule posts means businesses can take greater control of their account, particularly during times when the business may not be open. For example, businesses can schedule posts to go live over the weekend, or tap into the account to check engagement. In order to schedule posts, businesses will need to work with the Facebook Marketing Partners or Instagram Partners programs. If you are building apps for Instagram non-business accounts, Instagram says to use the Instagram Platform API instead.
"The scheduling and publishing of Instagram content has been the number one request for our 16 million customers. Now, they can manage large volumes of content, multiple team members and multiple Instagram accounts with ease and security. Hootsuite is excited to partner with Instagram to make this happen," said Ryan Holmes, CEO, Hootsuite.
Documentation for the Instagram Graph API is available here.
At the same time, Instagram says it will eventiually end support for the Instagram API Platform. It wants all developers to migrate to the Instagram Graph API, though it is providing plenty of lead time. The company says it will begin ending support for for the Instagram API Platform in early 2020. For the moment, it is still accessible and fully functional. The social network did not specify which features will be ported to the Instagram Graph API, and which might be discontinued.