Instagram recently announced it would be introducing a new API, with one of the most notable features allowing users to schedule posts ahead of time. Lee, Chris & Jamie share their thoughts on how this could impact the platform. Subscribe to our YouTube channel for all the latest digital news.
See below for the full video transcription.
Lee: So, it’s been in every publication going about Instagram Updating their API and moving to the Instagram Graph API, which is the same as the Facebook Graph API. Primarily, what it means is marketers, companies, anyone that uses Instagram basically will now be able to schedule posts. A feature that marketers certainly have been banging on about for a long, long time. I think it now opens the floodgates for Instagram to be ruined in the same way as Facebook, just an absolute barrage of marketing-based content. I don’t know, I think it’s probably a bad thing for the platform, but it was always going to happen.
Jamie: In terms of dev it’s good, because you’re unifying the API and hopefully unifying the documentation too. So if you’ve written some automated Facebook posting algorithm software or whatever, you should be able to move that across Instagram pretty swiftly, or bring it in, and should be able to, you know, roll out across the other platform, pretty simple. So, that’s good for devs. But bad for devs, though, because they’re getting rid of the old API, so they’re deprecating that. I don’t know how many years they’ve put on it until end of life, but any apps you’ve got running on the old Instagram API or the current Instagram APIs, then you need to get them off pretty soon. So, yeah, they give you, like, end of life, don’t they, it’s usually, like, a couple of years, but…
Chris: Is it 2020?
Jamie: Is it 2020? Yeah. Soon comes around when you’ve got your production website using it.
Chris: Yeah, it’s not a long time, is it, really, in the grand scheme of things?
Jamie: No. That’s what has to happen with APIs, if you don’t get rid of them, then they’ll live on forever, and it’s just… so you’ve got to cut your losses at some point, and it is a problem, though, with APIs versioning, and it’s a big, big dev topic.
Chris: I think it’s made a lot of marketing managers’ lives easier, though, hasn’t it, if you think now they’ve been waiting around for it so long. I know they’ve put in a lot of requests to get this over the line, but to be able to schedule posts now is just going to make everybody’s life easier. And, obviously, there’s not going to be any individual log-in, so, you know, if you’ve got a marketing team that all use it to schedule posts and things like that, you can all work from one hub now to distribute your content, which is going to save a lot of time as well. I can see why it’s been pushed as heavily as it has been for so long.
Jamie: They’ve gotten straight in with these third-party platforms as well, and I was looking now at Hootsuite, and there’s a quote in there from the CEO, I’m pretty sure all of the social automation platforms are being on this pretty sharpish.
Lee: Yeah, Hootsuite were an official partner with Instagram, which arrived there first, Buffer are working on it, I think Hubspot are working on it. So, everybody’s sort of doing it. It’s just, these guys have sort of the first foot in the door.
Jamie: Yeah, like I said in terms of dev too, if these platforms have already got Facebook integrated, which I know they have, then it should be pretty straightforward to just piggyback Instagram on that. It should be the same type of flow and authentication protocol and stuff.