SuperGeekery: A blog probably of interest only to nerds by John F Morton.

A blog prob­a­bly of inter­est only to nerds by John F Mor­ton.

Keeping up with the Instagram API

On Jan­u­ary 30, 2018, Insta­gram post­ed a dep­re­ca­tion notice for The Insta­gram API Plat­form. There is a new­er API called the Insta­gram Graph API. The new­er APIs focus is for busi­ness­es, not indi­vid­ual accounts though.

This is the 2nd major change made to the API. The first major change was in Novem­ber 2015. If you’re curi­ous, here’s the announc­ment. The changes intro­duced a new app review process and lim­it­ed 3rd par­ty access to the API

At that time I had a plu­g­in for both Expres­sio­nEngine and Craft CMS called Pic Puller that helped devel­op­ers cre­ate their own Insta­gram apps and use the full Insta­gram API which was then inte­grat­ed into their CMS.

The Insta­gram app review process and restric­tions to API led me to stop devel­op­ment of Pic Puller entire­ly. Since Pic Puller at that point helped peo­ple make their own app I felt that the require­ments of the review process placed too much of a bur­den on the users of Pic Puller. I didn’t want peo­ple to buy my add on and then need to go through the app review process and then have the poten­tial for an unap­proved app. That sce­nario felt to me like plac­ing too big of a bur­den on my users to jus­ti­fy keep­ing Pic Puller alive.

After sev­er­al sub­mis­sions of my own to the Insta­gram review team, I final­ly received approval for an API key for Pic Puller which lead me to a com­plete rewrite of the plu­g­in so that all users would use the Insta­gram app autho­riza­tion I’d received. For this new ver­sion of Pic Puller I focused sole­ly on Craft CMS. Expres­sion Engine had tran­si­tioned from EE2 to EE3 dur­ing that peri­od and I had not been using it enough to keep cur­rent with how it was chang­ing.

The most recent major announce­ment by Insta­gram on Jan­u­ary 30, 2018 means the v1 API is going away entire­ly. 

The access Pic Puller has is the basic” lev­el of access. This allows Insta­gram users, both per­son­al accounts and busi­ness accounts, to access their own media they have cre­at­ed. Accord­ing to the depri­ca­tion notice, the basic” access to the v1 will con­tin­ue to work until ear­ly 2020.” That means Pic Puller in its cur­rent form will work until then as well.

Pic Puller is used by hun­dreds of peo­ple though, and I would like to con­tin­ue to help peo­ple bring their media into Craft after that time. The Insta­gram announce­ment does promise a solu­tion is com­ing though:

Future updates on the Insta­gram Graph API will include:

Sup­port for Non-Busi­­ness Pro­files [FUTURE]: Basic per­mis­sion­ing for non-busi­­ness pro­files will be sup­port­ed in ear­ly 2019.

A promised API that is a year out isn’t the safest bet for the future of any app, but I don’t have much choice except to hope for the best.