Instagram leave its developers frustrated; Here’s why

Published on April 5, 2018

In an exciting turn of events, Instagram has broken many of the unofficial applications built by its concept. It came across as a massive surprise for developers earlier this weekend when they discovered that most of their claims constructed on Instagram had been eliminated by the technology giant. It appears that there is the restriction regarding how much content the developers can pull off from Instagram’s API. The Facebook-owned giant has reportedly shrunk its API limit from 5,000 to 200 calls per user per hour.


Apps representing different kinds of behavior have been taken off by Instagram. For example, those applications that inform users whether the users that they follow have followed them back or not have been taken off. Apps that help their audience analyze their audience or discover relevant hashtags are increasingly running into their API limits. As a result, these applications are ending up being broken which is leaving the users frustrated. According to a report published by Tech Crunch, two sources have reportedly confirmed the new limits implemented by Instagram. Developers are now posting complaints about the situation is getting increasingly intense for them especially on Instagram’s platform for developers, Stack Overflow. The move is coming across as puzzling because Instagram refuses to comment on what’s exactly happening and what is it that is leading them to carry out such a move.

Instagram’s latest move reflects their decision to stop accepting submissions of new applications. Their activities are following in line with what Facebook had announced earlier this week. As can be recalled, Facebook reportedly announced this week that they would be curbing the access that they provide third-party creators. Their decision emerged after they were embroiling in the news over the recent Cambridge Analytica privacy data scandal. However, developers find their latest move as especially frustrating because they are kept in the dark about Instagram’s decision. If only, Instagram had informed the users of their future choice, they would have made the changes accordingly. The developers would apparently be more careful about following the limited API calls.

According to a report by Tech Crunch, developers are suspecting that Instagram’s latest move is a part of Facebook’s effort to improve data privacy. Earlier last week, Facebook had announced that they were planning on ending support for Partner Categories ads, which are targeted by third-party data brokers. Facebook is also rumored to be planning on requiring businesses to pledge that they have consumer’s consent to attain their email addresses, in case they are made to use to target Custom Audiences.

Majority of the public backlash has reportedly been focusing on Facebook only. Its subsidiary such as Instagram and WhatsApp have gone undetected. Therefore, the company hopes to prevent any hatred from coming onto its subsidiary Instagram and WhatsApp. At the same time, causing this kind of platform whiplash could lead developers to flock away from the Instagram ecosystem. “For example, Reports+ charges $3.99 per month to give people analytics about their Instagram followers,” reports Tech Crunch. “Sensor Tower tells TechCrunch that Reports+ has grossed more than $18 million worldwide since October 2016 on the App Store and Google Play, and made more than $1.2 million last month alone,” the report further adds.

Instagram, it seems, is mistaken at viewing such applications as parasitic as they charge users for unofficial functionality. In a similar effort, Instagram earlier in January had announced that they would be shutting down the old API over the next two years, starting the removing the ability to pull a user’s follower list among other things.

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