What Happened To The Facebook And Instagram APIs, How Does It Affect You, And What’s Unmetric Doing About It?

Since it was exposed that Cambridge Analytica, a political data business, had improperly stolen personal data of users, Facebook has been fighting a data privacy crisis. This incident has the potential to be a turning point in Facebook’s history, prompting necessary privacy and transparency regulations in the tech sector. Facebook has taken many measures this week to protect the privacy of its users in reaction to the data breach.

We, too, have been keeping up with the latest on this. Unmetric leverages social networks’ open APIs to provide analysis of both proprietary and rival brand data.

Unmetric does not track or store any personally identifiable information about its users. The Unmetric product suite was developed to help businesses track, investigate, and report on the efficacy of their social media content in order to improve future postings. Unmetric does not collect any personally identifying information from its users.

To What Effect?

Although we had planned to ride out this privacy tempest on the sidelines, some Unmetric data has been compromised due to the measures Facebook has taken to protect their users’ privacy. And in doing so, impact brand information.Here’s a quick rundown of Facebook’s history:

  • Since January, Facebook has planned to gradually switch from the current Instagram API to the Instagram Graph API in order to address privacy concerns and improve services for Business Accounts.
  • The rate limitations for API requests were previously set at 5,000 per hour, but without warning or explanation, they were unexpectedly lowered to 200 per hour last week during Spring break. Some private information was likewise protected from public view. There was no advance notice from Instagram about this change, and it has already affected hundreds of apps. The development staff at Unmetric stayed on the clock throughout the holidays to accommodate the rush of new features.
  • The existing Instagram API was deprecated yesterday without any warning (it was scheduled for removal in 2020). This means that non-Business Accounts may no longer use the API to retrieve data. This shift has caught thousands of applications by surprise and has inconvenienced tens of thousands, if hundreds of thousands of users. Now, Instagram Business Accounts can only get to their data via the Instagram Graph API.

Where does this leave unmetric metrics?

Read the update at the bottom of this blog article for further information.

Although we anticipate minimal disruption, normal operations cannot be resumed at this time.

In-House Analyses

Our customers that have integrated their Instagram accounts with the Unmetric dashboard report no problems at this time. All Insights Reports will be delivered to clients in the same manner as before. We will be able to display this information in Insights once the Graph API is improved to include other metrics such as mentions, tags, etc.

Analytics for Competitors

Instagram’s discontinued API was used to compile competitor data. The Unmetric development team is working around the clock to find a solution to this issue and minimise any impact it may have on the service. Fortunately, several components have already been updated to make use of the Graph API, and the other ones are now the subject of investigation. We apologise to our customers who rely on constant access to Instagram competitor data; nevertheless, we fully intend to resume our normal operations as soon as Instagram begins re-enabling our API. For further information, read the footnote below. A frantic weekend of work has resulted in 100% dependency on the Instagram Graph API for data.

The bad news for businesses who want to snoop on their competitors is that they will soon be unable to see the vast majority of comments left on competitor Instagram profiles. Since Instagram considers this to be private information, access to it via the Graph API has been disabled.

What is Unmetric doing to fix this, and where do we go from here?

To begin, Unmetric has not prioritised the collection of private user level data, and has instead exclusively gathered publicly available social data for brands. So, while the Unmetric products have been impacted, things for business accounts and, hopefully, all brand accounts will return to normal shortly if Instagram doesn’t spring any more surprises. At this time, our first concern is making sure that our customers have as little disruption as possible during the changeover.

This unexpected shift has been challenging for many organisms in this environment, but it will be beneficial in the end. Facebook’s dedication to regaining its customers’ confidence is commendable, as is the company’s proactive approach to protecting their personal information.

We are keeping a careful eye on Facebook’s announcements in case they reveal any upcoming modifications to the Graph API. Unmetric will continue to respond swiftly to any developments that may influence the service we provide to our customers, while we cannot foresee what such developments may be. Every hour of every day, someone from our team is working on this.

On April 9th, we were able to successfully migrate from obtaining data from Facebook’s privacy API to Instagram’s Graph API. Obviously, we had to pull together as a team all weekend long in order to accomplish this change, but we succeeded.

  • However, obtaining the following information will be challenging due to the new API.

  • True number of followers Links in posts, filters, and video previews

  • increase metric’s branded data and lack of PHI harvesting means that the alterations are little yet important.

Adweek cites this update and incorporates the perspectives of other companies operating in the social analytics field to discuss the effects of Instagram’s API changes in an article titled The Influencer Marketing Community Reacts to Instagram’s Sudden Changes.