#SocialHour: Facebook/Instagram API Changes
• May 3, 2018
Carmen Shiu is a six-year CLEVER veteran, project manager, and product developer. She works closely with our tech team and our social media partners to ensure we have the latest understanding and solutions for addressing 1st, 2nd, and 3rd party platform updates.
TL;DR: Facebook and Instagram recently made API changes that affect many third-party apps, automated platforms, and social listening services. These changes will affect many in our industry, but DO NOT IMPACT CLEVER.
See below for more details.
Given the highly concerning issues facing Facebook and Instagram, FB announced some serious changes to their APIs, which they’re rolling out at an accelerated rate. Most of these changes involve limiting data access to third-party developers, unless those parties have special permissions and/or partnerships with Facebook/Instagram.
Who Does This Impact?
Third-Party Apps: A majority of these changes will impact a) analytics vendors who rely on API searches to retrieve user data, and b) apps that take actions on behalf of users (i.e., apps that post for you).
Platforms with Post Verifications: Changes will also affect platforms using the API for post verifications (e.g., influencer platforms whose members used to provide proof-of-post via the platform API now have to now manually submit their posts via email instead of relying on an automated system).
In other words, some influencer marketing platforms used APIs to automatically search for proof of posts; these vendors will now need to find alternate solutions.
Social Listening Services: Social Listening services are also going to be impacted by these changes. Whether these services used “subscriptions” to monitor hashtag mentions, or searched broadly for hashtag mentions, social listening vendors will be significantly impacted by removal of API endpoints or decreased rate limits (rate limits represent the number of times they can be used per hour).
Audience Insights Services: Instagram removed all audience data from the Instagram API. Services that provide audience insights or audience targeting based on data from Instagram will also no longer be able to do so.
Why Isn’t CLEVER affected?
CLEVER has never relied solely on 3rd party apps or platform-controlled APIs for data, because the risk of platforms changing API access are too high. Yikes.
We pull publicly available data into our platform to perform influencer selection and searches, hashtag searches, audience insights, and program performance metrics.
CLEVER never takes actions on behalf of influencers.
CLEVER has never relied on APIs to provide proof of influencer posts. Instead, we built a tool that requires influencers to provide us with their posts, which is also the point at which we pull in data about the post: reach, potential impressions, and engagement. Automated (oauth) data remains available for Facebook and Twitter. We pull Instagram data (comments and likes vis-a-vis follower count) into our platform to calculate engagement rates.
*A note about Actual Impressions: Most influencer marketing platforms do not provide actualactual impressions, because most social media platforms do not provide those figures, and those who did (FB/Instagram) only offered them to a few partners and have since discontinued this feature. MOST actual impressions are calculated as a percentage of potential impressions. Be sure to ask your influencer partners how they are calculating actuals, especially now that the APIs have changed so drastically!
Get more clarity from our white paper:
INFLUENCER MEASUREMENT: THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE TOTALLY FAKE
CLEVER offers highly accurate audience insights based on our influencers’ social profiles (Twitter) and not Instagram; we made this decision last year because of its public nature and Twitter’s openness to development. We care greatly about the privacy of our influencers’ audiences; this means we only use knowingly shared public information, and never pay or scrape for private data of any kind.
To recap: CLEVER’s platform pulls and analyzes data from publicly available information. We use APIs and oauth to automate follower counts, but do not rely on third-party apps due to their volatile nature. We have tracking pixels on our influencers’ blogs with their permission. We gather audience insights from publicly available data.
As a result, we are not impacted by any of the recent Facebook and Instagram API changes.
For further information or to simply discuss how your upcoming programs won’t be impacted, let us know by replying to this email or contacting your CLEVER point of contact.
Thanks for reading!
On behalf of Cat Lincoln & the research crew at CLEVER