Instagram Limits Developer API Access in New Policy Update


Instagram has today announced in a new Platform Policy Update that it will now be reviewing the apps before granting them use of its API, in an effort to “improve people’s control over their content and set up a more sustainable environment built around authentic experiences on the platform”. The decision seems to have been motivated by last week’s incident, in which a developer publicly apologised for copying usernames and passwords of users logging in to Instagram via his app. 

The company will begin reviewing new and existing apps before granting full API access starting December 3, 2015, while existing apps have until June 1, 2016 to submit and be approved.

We’ve updated our Platform Policy to explicitly list the use cases we will support moving forward. These include apps and services that:

  • Help individuals share their own content with 3rd party apps, such as apps that let you print your photos and import an Instagram photo as a profile picture.
  • Help brands and advertisers understand and manage their audience, develop their content strategy, and get digital rights to media. Established apps in this space may apply for our newly announced Instagram Partner Program.
  • Help broadcasters and publishers discover content, get digital rights to media, and share media using web embeds.

You can read the full terms here.

The company has also said that it will be launching a new “Sandbox Mode”, which will let users privately build and test their apps using Instagram’s APIs as their app is being reviewed. 

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