So, here we are. Facebook made some big changes to the Instagram API in light of the recent consumer privacy issues, hitting the world of social media marketing like a ton of bricks. And that's no understatement.
Here's what it really means for brands and how to move forward as a business without skipping a beat. 💪
Photo of @olivia by @blairbbrown Since her flip phone days, 19-year-old student and photographer Blair Brown (@blairbbrown) has taken photos. “My junior year of high school, I realized I really liked photography,” says Blair, who was born in Oakland, California. “I kept taking photos and haven’t put my camera down since.” Behind the lens, Blair is drawn to portraits of people in their element. “I’m an in-the-moment photographer — I like capturing people in their world and in their process,” she says. “One of the things I really enjoy is making people feel really good about themselves and getting them confident being in front of the camera. To me, #CaptureConfidence is all about just owning it.” Confidence looks different for everyone. We’ve teamed up with Confidence Code Girls (@confidencecodegirls), Blair and five other young women who embody confidence every day on Instagram. Check out our story to see more.
The queen of social apps has spoken.
A Major Curveball
Instagram did something sorta rash last week, creating much confusion and generating a ton of questions from literally everyone. The platform preemptively blocked access to its API, and the businesses that depend on this connection to function ran amok.
While the Instagram developers page informed us earlier this month that things would be changing in July, turns out the Cambridge Analytica data breach has led the FB to accelerate the deprecation. Instagram decided to shut things down abruptly without prior warning, leaving unofficial Instagram third party apps scrambling overnight. Not the best news to wake up to when your entire business model revolves around deep backend Instagram access to user data.
Let's first address the elephant in the room: everything is going to be fine. The Instagram application throws users curveballs all the time, which is part of the fun. People survive, businesses adapt, and smart strategies keep arising. Remember the algorithm announcement pandemonium from two years ago, almost to the day? We all lived, and we're all still thriving, amiright?! 🙌
While API calls have been reduced significantly for firms that provide specific demographics insights, it's business as usual for the critical performance reports that Dash Hudson provides. Our status as official Instagram API partners means that we've got your back, always.
Now let's discuss how these changes affect Instagram marketing and the best way to start adapting immediately.
There is literally zero need to despair.
Business or Bust
If the advantages that come with identifying your company to potential consumers isn't reason enough for why you should switch to an Instagram Business account, then this should be the straw that breaks the camel's back. There are no two ways around it: in a closed API world, it will be the only way to retrieve strategy-informing insights moving forward.
Time to let your brand flag fly by switching to a business account if you haven't already. There are multiple advantages to Instagram business profile features, if only the fact that it helps legitimize your company in the eyes of users. But identifying your account as such also lets the new Graph API know that it's cool to grab all those stats from your account, something that can't be done for regular users. This is how Dash Hudson is able to pull all the big data you need to keep your strategies informed.
Instagram business tools have been complimentary to the Dash Hudson platform ever since the sprites at Facebook made them available. And with the steps that the tech giant has been taking to protect users from sketchy breaches, a biz account is now necessary for our own DH sprites to be able to sync all those vital stats.
Plainly put, Facebook is significantly limiting the kind of data that third parties can get their hands on about regular (read: non-business) users, which is ultimately a relief in a world where privacy is the one thing people can still count on—in spite of a precipitous shutoff. "The API changes were expected, but certainly accelerated as Facebook looks to improve privacy," explains our co-founder and CEO, Thomas Rankin.
While a few functions like Instagram search and a some follower insights might be severed, businesses can still count on receiving all of the essential stats and reporting they require to improve their social marketing strategies... Without unwarranted, exploitative overreach. Thomas notes that:
For brands, this is ultimately a positive, as it helps them avoid unscrupulous data providers and ensures that they continue to build positive, trusting relationships with consumers.
There you have it.
Rejoice and carry on!
We seldom stop to think about all the sensitivities that surround our tech-reliant, data-ran existences, but it's important to take a step back to reevaluate how things are done and understand the magnitude of how our everyday lives are affected. This abrupt change is ultimately a reaction and fix to past negligence, and serves to instill protective measures against future fiascos.
For all you Dash Hudson family members, switch to a business account and rest assured. We're an official Instagram API partner, and you're in good hands as we make the necessary tweaks to keep getting you the most sophisticated performance stats on the market.
You know you can always reach out to our superstar customer success team with any question or concern they haven't already answered. 🤗
Want to learn more about how Dash Hudson can help you succeed at visual marketing? Hit us up today (right after you sign up for our weekly newsletter 👇).