From a social media platform used by art and visual aficionados to businesses who want to showcase their products and services through visual content, Instagram has definitely levelled up in both a social and marketing point of view. Instagram has also reached the one billion mark in users, quickly following Facebook on the number of users.
A lot of features have been rolled out for his social platform: Instagram Stories, live feed, and now IGTV — or an YouTube-like feature — were game changers for users, pushing them to further utilise the social media platform whichever they prefer.
Aside from these milestones, there is big news that will disrupt how we use Instagram so far. Another game-changing feature will be rolled out by the Instagram team, and it’s the transition from the Instagram API to the Instagram Graph API.
This move is said to further protect your data and privacy. In the eyes of regular users, it’s just another update. But on the part of businesses, it’s something they need to further understand. Digital Marketers will need to understand the changes in order to come up with marketing strategies that are aligned with the new API since past ones may not work anymore.
But, before we proceed with the changes, you should first understand what API is. An API or Application Programming Interface is software in between two applications, making it connect and talk to each other.
In other words, as Mule Soft explained what API is, API is like the waiter in the restaurant, and you’re the diner, while the kitchen is the “system” that will prepare your order. As you sit at your place in the restaurant, you read the menu, looking for things that you want to order. And when you’re ready to order, who will deliver your order to the kitchen and who will take the order from the kitchen to your table when it’s cooked? It’s the waiter. The waiter is the critical link, which is the same as API.
What will not work so far?
Since there is a new API for Instagram, there are certain apps that won’t become compatible with the changes. Instagram bots will not work anymore as the new API is not supporting the automation of different tasks, such as commenting on other users’ posts, reading follower lists, and following or unfollowing users. As for users, the data on what posts you’ve liked so far are now made private.
Influencers will also need to step up their game since there are features removed, such as bots and analytics apps were nerfed, but there are additional features that would help them start a new marketing scheme.
The new API, which was built on Facebook’s Graph API, uses three social graphs. And here’s an explanation from Facebook:
Nodes — these are the individual users, photos, and comments
Edges — the connections between objects
Fields — these are properties that the API can return when requested
On the other hand, here are the new APIs that marketers should watch out for:
Mentions API — this allows users to tag businesses or influencers on different Instagram features, such as photos, comments, and captions. All the user has to do is @mentioning them on the comments or caption section. This will make it easier for businesses to influencers to pinpoint if users are really talking about them. It will also identify feedback from users.
Insights API — this feature will help businesses and influencers track different types of data and metrics, such as reach, impressions, and profile views, making it easier for marketers to have more information about customers, whether loyal or potential.
Business Discovery API — on the other hand, this new API will also get information from an Instagram business account, but from your competitors. With this, you can now track the number of likes, followers, comments, and more.
Content Publishing API — automation is still possible through this API for it allows business accounts automate a number of functions, which are posting and tagging
Comment Moderation API — this gives business accounts control over their comment section, allowing them to reply in batches or to one user at a time, hide or unhide comments, delete comments, and even disable or enable comments on a media object.
Just like its parent company, Instagram is making drastic changes and rolling out new features, Even though these changes heavily affect marketing and other users, businesses on Instagram can take advantages of these new game-changing features. But, these are just part of the continuous changes since social media also changes based on customers, technology, and more.
With this, digital marketers should have a knack for detail and a deep understanding of how social media works in order to come up with effective strategies. In order to learn these traits, you can take social media marketing courses from professional schools like MCIE.
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