How to Use Instagram Public Content Access for Developers: A Practical Guide

Developers often get confused while fetching public data from Instagram. Well, that ends now! Learn how to make the best use of Hashtag API and others for marketing campaigns.

Introduction to Instagram Public Content Access

Instagram isn't just for selfies and Swifties anymore (though those are still important, obviously). It's a data mine for developers and marketers to understand the nerves of their customers. 

With Instagram's Public Content Access, you can tap into GigaBytes of public posts, comments, hashtags, and user-generated content to create engaging experiences for your audience. 

Overview of the API and its Importance for Developers

The only way to access all this public data on Instagram is through ‘’The Instagram Graph API’’. 

It provides a structured way for developers to request and retrieve information from Instagram's servers like: 

1. Social Media Walls

Aggregate and display Instagram posts from specific hashtags on websites, social media accounts, or digital displays.

2. Hashtag Tracking

Monitor the performance of specific hashtags, track trends, and analyze user sentiment.

3. Influencer Marketing

Identify potential influencers and analyze their content and audience demographics.

4. Competitive Analysis

Gain insights into your competitors' social media strategies and performance.

5. Content Curation

Create user-generated content to showcase on your own channels or website.

All this data empowers them to build cool features like social media walls, hashtag trackers, and even sentiment analysis tools for different businesses. 

It's kind of like having a backstage pass to Meta!

Understanding the Hashtag Search API

The Hashtag Search API is quite a useful tool within the Instagram Graph API that allows developers to search for public posts and video content containing specific hashtags. 

This is particularly useful for:

  • Identify popular hashtags and trending topics in your industry or niche.
  • Track how often your brand is mentioned and the sentiment associated with those mentions.
  • Discover influencers who are already talking about your brand or relevant topics.
  • Analyze your competitors' hashtag usage and campaign performance.

Setting Up Your Developer Environment

Before you can start playing with Instagram's API, you'll need to set up your developer environment.

Necessary Permissions for Access

To unlock the full potential of Instagram's API, you'll need two key permissions:

  1. instagram_basic: This gives you basic access to public profile information and media.
  2. manage_pages: This permission is essential for using the Hashtag Search API and accessing data from Instagram Business accounts.

Step-by-Step Guide to Setting Permissions

Setting up permissions might seem like a daunting task, but it's actually quite simple. Here's a quick guide to get you started:

  1. Head to the Facebook for Developers website and create a Facebook Developer Account. 
  2. Create a new app and select "Instagram Basic Display" as your product to register it.
  3. Add the instagram_basic and manage_pages permissions in your app settings.
  4. Submit your app for review and approval. Once approved, you'll get an access token, which you'll need to make API calls.
  5. Access the Instagram Graph API using the token.

Navigating Approval and Business Verification

Now, before you start extracting data, there's one more hurdle- Business Verification. 

To use the Hashtag Search API for marketing purposes, you need to have a verified Instagram Business account. This requires submitting a verification request to Facebook, which typically involves providing documentation to confirm your business identity.

The Role of Business Verification

Business verification is like getting a VIP pass to Instagram's exclusive club. It serves two main purposes:

  1. It ensures that businesses are using the API for legitimate marketing purposes, protecting users from spam and abuse.
  2. It provides businesses with access to additional features and capabilities, such as the Hashtag Search API.

How to Submit for Review and Approval

 Follow these easy steps:

  1. Ensure you have a verified Instagram Business account.
  2. Create a screencast video demonstrating how you plan to use the API.
  3. Prepare a detailed text document explaining your use case and how it complies with Instagram's policies.
  4. Submit your verification request through the Facebook for Developers platform.

The approval process can take several days, so be patient and prepared to provide additional information if requested.

Practical Application and Troubleshooting

Once you're all set up, it's time to start putting that API to work! You might face a few hiccups, so keep reading the blog till the end.

Common Issues and How to Resolve Them

Like any new tool, you might face hurdles along the way. Here are some common issues and their solutions:

1. Permission Problems

Double-check that you've requested the right permissions (instagram_basic and manage_pages) and that your Instagram account is a verified Business account.

2. Rate Limiting

Instagram has limits on how many requests you can make per hour. If you hit the limit, you'll need to wait or upgrade your plan.

3. Data Errors

Sometimes, the API might return incomplete or incorrect data. Make sure you're using the correct endpoints and parameters.

If you run into trouble, don't panic. There are plenty of resources available to help you troubleshoot, including Instagram's developer documentation and online forums.

3 Tips for Efficient Use of the Instagram API

Check out these 3 tips to make the most of Instagram's Public Content Access:

Tip 1- Cache Data

Make it a habit to store API responses in a cache to avoid sending unnecessary requests and hitting those pesky rate limits.

Tip 2- Pagination

If you need to fetch a lot of data, use pagination to break it down into manageable chunks. It's like eating a pizza one slice at a time instead of trying to gobble the whole thing in your mouth.

Tip 3- Error Handling

Implement robust error handling to calmly deal with any API errors.

Further Resources and Support

To learn more about Instagram's Public Content Access and how InsightIQ can help you maximize its potential, visit the following resources:

If you have any questions or need further assistance, don't hesitate to reach out to InsightIQ's support team.

How InsightIQ Empowers Developers

InsightIQ is a comprehensive social media intelligence platform that equips developers with the tools and insights needed to maximize the potential of Instagram data. 

By providing a streamlined approach to data collection, analysis, and campaign management, InsightIQ allows developers to build more effective social media strategies and drive meaningful results for their clients or businesses.

Enhancing Hashtag Research with InsightIQ

Remember the Hashtag Search API we talked about? 

InsightIQ provides an in-depth analysis of hashtag performance, helping you identify trending topics, measure campaign reach, and track competitor activity.

Here’s a long list of things developers can do with InsightIQ’s Social Data APIs:

  • Lets you discover the most popular and engaging hashtags in your niche to increase visibility and reach.
  • Easily monitor real-time data on hashtag usage, engagement, and reach to gauge campaign effectiveness.
  • Understand the sentiment associated with specific hashtags to refine messaging and target audience.
  • Compare your hashtag performance with that of your competitors to identify opportunities and areas for improvement.
  • Explore related hashtags to broaden your reach and tap into new conversations.

The list goes on and on and on, Why not try yourself by taking a free trial? Here’s the link to book a demo.

Using InsightIQ's hashtag research capabilities, developers can make data-driven decisions and optimize their social media strategies for better results.

Integrating InsightIQ Tools with Instagram APIs

InsightIQ quickly integrates with Instagram's API, providing developers with a comprehensive platform for social media management. 

This integration enables developers to effortlessly collect and consolidate data from multiple Instagram accounts using InsightIQ's robust, API data integration capabilities. Analyze Instagram data using InsightIQ's comprehensive suite of analytics tools, including sentiment analysis, audience demographics, and engagement metrics.

Say adieu to manually preparing reports. Get tailored reports that focus on the metrics most relevant to your business objectives, providing clear and concise insights. 

Also, read A 2024 Complete Guide to Find the Top 5 Social Media APIs for Developers


Instagram's Public Content Access, combined with tools like InsightIQ, presents a valuable opportunity for developers to harness the power of social media data. 

By understanding the nuances of the API, obtaining the necessary permissions, and leveraging InsightIQ's capabilities, developers can create innovative applications, gain a deeper understanding of their audience, and drive significant business impact.

Summary of Key Takeaways

  • Instagram's Public Content Access provides developers with a wealth of data and opportunities.
  • The Hashtag Search API is a powerful tool for understanding trends, monitoring brand mentions, and finding potential influencers.
  • Setting up your developer environment requires obtaining the necessary permissions and verifying your business account.
  • InsightIQ enhances social media data integration and analysis, providing valuable insights for optimizing your social media strategy.

Remember, Instagram's API is constantly evolving, so stay up-to-date with the latest changes and best practices. With the right tools and knowledge, you can make the best use of Instagram's Public Content Access and create truly engaging social media experiences.

Connect with us to learn how InsightIQ's APIs can help ease the lives of your developers. Book a discovery call now.

Team insightIQ

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