Instagram Institutes API Changes That Will Kill Off Malicious Third-Party Apps

instagramFollowing the recent discovery that malicious app InstaAgent was stealing Instagram passwords from users, Instagram has instituted much stricter rules for accessing its API, effectively killing off a large number of apps that read Instagram feeds.

In a notice posted today on its developer site, Instagram explains it will no longer permit apps that access the Instagram feed API, as that API is being shut down. In the future, third-party Instagram apps will have much more limited capabilities.

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.

Starting today, Instagram is instituting a new review process and preventing new apps from using its APIs until it starts conducting reviews on December 3. Existing apps have until June 1, 2016 to comply with Instagram's new platform rules, and the users/self/feed and media/popular API endpoints will be available until the end of the review period. Instagram is also launching a new Sandbox Mode to allow developers to privately build and test apps using Instagram's APIs.

Instagram's new policy will put an end to dozens of questionable third-party Instagram apps that promised users new followers and the ability to track follows and unfollows. Apps are no longer able to use "like," "share," "comment," or "follower" exchange programs nor can they use follower information for "anything other than analytics" without Instagram's permission.

Unfortunately, as no apps will be able to access the full Instagram feed, it will also have an impact on legitimate Instagram clients for the iPad and the Mac, where Instagram is not natively available. As TechCrunch points out, this will affect apps like Retro, Flow, Padgram, Webstagram, Instagreat, and more.

With today's changes, Instagram says it plans to institute a "more sustainable environment built around authentic experiences on the platform" and give users more control over their content.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
62 months ago
Now make an actual iPad app and it'll be fine.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
62 months ago
Kinda sucks but it was much needed. The Instagram feed was crowded with fake likes and followers. Sadly apps like CloudFire will no longer be usable.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
62 months ago
I recently started using Flipboard on my iPad & it's so convenient for reviewing Instagram, Twitter & more.

Will Flipboard no longer have access to my Instagram feed?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
62 months ago

It's *FAR* easier to select a the correct picture when scrolling through the camera roll.

RIGHT! I totally agree, I don't run into that problem because of how I do things but that has been the single most annoying thing I've encountered with Insta.

haha c'mon.. i'm not breaking my ideological self-promise here. i mean 'anti' as in i don't enjoy plastering my life all over the internet and never have. instagram being the first one i've used because it's.. fun and interesting.

I def find that Insta is fun, interesting, and generally a more positive space. It's all about how you follow people I guess.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
62 months ago
I wonder how this will affect legitimate apps that provide access to Instagram on devices and operating systems where this is no official apps (OS X, Windows, iPad, etc).
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
62 months ago

It's to fill the gaps in what a platform offers. My biggest complaint about instagram is they won't let me share directly from the camera roll. If they actually had a good API and weren't so anti-developer ... someone could create an app to correct that poor work flow.

My first thought about your biggest complaint is that it would let people spam more than they might already.
MY biggest complaint about Instagram is people who post more than 1 image regularly. Especially people who post 3 images almost every time they make posts. Yes it would be really awesome to share straight from camera roll, I agree with you, that would be really nice. BUT. I'd rather it take more time to post than see more spammy users who I generally unfollow.

Just a thought. I'm sure there's other stuff you don't like about Insta that's very legit, just like your main gripe.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Takes Legal Action Against Small Company With Pear Logo

Saturday August 8, 2020 11:09 am PDT by
Apple is taking legal action against the developers of the app "Prepear" due to its logo, according to iPhone in Canada. Prepear is an app that helps users discover recipes, plan meals, make lists, and arrange grocery deliveries. The app is a spinoff of "Super Healthy Kids," and the founders claim that they are facing litigation from Apple. Apple reportedly takes issue with Prepear's logo, ...

Kuo: Global iPhone Shipments Could Decline Up to 30% If Apple Forced to Remove WeChat From App Store [Updated x2]

Sunday August 9, 2020 10:17 pm PDT by
In a worst-case scenario, Apple's annual global iPhone shipments could decline by 25–30% if it is forced to remove WeChat from its App Stores around the world, according to a new research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo viewed by MacRumors. The removal could occur due to a recent executive order aiming to ban U.S. transactions with WeChat and its parent company Tencent. Kuo lays out...

Google Maps Debuts New Apple Watch App and CarPlay Features

Monday August 10, 2020 9:16 am PDT by
Google today announced the launch of several features for Google Maps on Apple products, including new CarPlay functionality and a new Google Maps app that works on Apple Watch. The new Google Maps app for Apple Watch works similarly to the iOS app, allowing Apple Watch owners to get directions for a car, bike, public transit, or on foot. The app supports estimated arrival times and...

2020 iMac Teardown Reveals Internal Changes and Similarities

Saturday August 8, 2020 12:44 pm PDT by
A teardown video, shared by OWC, reveals the internal changes in the new 2020 27-inch iMac. The 2020 27-inch iMac was announced earlier this week with 10th-generation Intel Core processors, AMD Radeon Pro 5000 series graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, up to 8TB of storage, a 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, higher fidelity speakers, and...

Apple Seeds iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Public Beta 4 to Testers

Thursday August 6, 2020 10:05 am PDT by
Apple today seeded new public betas of upcoming iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 updates to its public beta testing group. Today's software releases, which Apple labels as fourth betas to keep them in line with developer betas, are actually the third betas that Apple has provided and they come two weeks after the prior beta releases. Public beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing...

Apple Believes This German Cycling Path Logo Infringes on Its Own Logo

Wednesday May 1, 2019 9:51 am PDT by
Apple recently objected to the logo of a new German cycling path in an appeal filed with the German Patent and Trademark Office, according to German outlets General-Anzeiger Bonn and Westdeutscher Rundfunk. Apple reportedly takes issue with the logo's green leaf and supposed "bitten" right side, attributes the company believes are too similar to its own logo. The logo, registered with the ...

Supposed iPhone 12 Display Unit Leaks

Thursday August 6, 2020 8:13 am PDT by
An image supposedly of an iPhone 12 display unit has been shared online by leaker "Twitter user Mr. White". Compared to images of an iPhone 11 Pro display piece, this new unit has a reoriented display connector, reaching up from the bottom of the display, rather than from the left-hand side on iPhone 11 Pro. This may be due to the logic board moving to the other side of the device. A...

Foxconn Reportedly Begins Seasonal Hiring Spree for iPhone 12 Production

Monday August 10, 2020 7:03 am PDT by
Apple's largest manufacturing partner Foxconn has begun its seasonal hiring spree to assist with iPhone 12 production, offering employees who recruit qualified applicants up to a 9,000 yuan bonus, according to Chinese media reports. As usual, Foxconn needs as many hands on deck as possible at its factory in Zhengzhou, China to assist with mass production of the upcoming iPhones. Apple is...

8 Third-Party Home Screen Widgets That You Can Try Out Now on iOS 14

Wednesday August 5, 2020 12:56 pm PDT by
One of the biggest new features of iOS 14 is Home Screen widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. The widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. When the iOS 14 beta was first released in June, widgets were limited to Apple's own apps like Calendar and Weather, but several third-party developers have begun to test ...

New 27-Inch iMac's Storage Affixed to Logic Board, 4TB and 8TB Configurations Have Expansion Connector

Friday August 7, 2020 7:46 am PDT by
Following a report from German blog iFun.de that claimed the new 27-inch iMac's flash storage is soldered to the logic board, MacRumors has obtained additional information in an internal document for Apple technicians. In the document, Apple says that the flash storage is indeed affixed to the logic board and cannot be removed. However, for the 4TB and 8TB configurations, Apple says that a...