Thursday 24th May 2018

Instagram follows Facebook’s lead by limiting access to its API

Jason Smith
by on 5th April 2018 | Leave a comment

Instagram has begun limiting access to a number of its API endpoints, according to the change log on its developer pages.

The new limitations, which Instagram states have been put in place with immediate effect, involve restrictions placed on posting comments, searching for users and retrieving data on followers or profiles being followed.

It comes after Instagram placed a sudden and unexpected restriction at the weekend on the number of API calls which could be made from 5,000 to 200 per hour. It led to a number of developers to take to StackOverflow and Twitter to complain about the lack of forewarning from the social media giant.

Instagram’s decision follows an announcement by Facebook, which purchased Instagram for $1 billion in 2012, about limiting access to its APIs for  events, groups and pages.

Facebook’s decision involves restricting access to guest lists or posts for events, and member lists for groups, as well instituting an approval process for access to its pages API.

The restrictions come in the aftermath of its revelation yesterday that the Cambridge Analytica data snafu may have affected upwards of 87 million users; media sources had previously estimated only 50 million users have been affected.

In its announcement, Facebook also outlined plans to, as of 9th April, provide users with a link at the top of their news feed so they can see which apps they use as well as the information they’ve shared with those apps.

As part of this process, Facebook states it will seek to inform users about whether their “information may have been improperly shared” with Cambridge Analytica.

According to its latest data, the situation with Cambridge Analytica has disproportionately affected users in the US; of the 87 million people affected over 70 million of them are US users.

The Silicon Valley based organization has also made a change to how users can find other users on its platform. Historically, it was possible to search for users by a mobile phone number, however, and owed to who it refers to as “malicious actors,” this feature has now been disabled with immediate effect.