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Instagram API Deprecation

WHAT IS HAPPENING

On April 4, 2018, the curating and displaying of Instagram pictures and posts to an audience from ProPresenter 6 and the ProRemote app on iOS & Android stopped working. If you attempt to search using ProPresenter's Instagram feature, you may see that the application will either display no results or crash.


WHY DID THIS HAPPEN

Facebook (the parent company of Instagram) has abruptly halted the ability for third-party applications, such as ProPresenter, to do queries and display Instagram user feeds. This was originally scheduled to be shut off on December 11th of this year. Facebook has been working on a new API called “Instagram Graph API” to replace the current API called “Instagram API Platform.” This new API was announced on January 30, 2018, along with the notice and timetable of deprecation of the “Instagram API Platform” that we were utilizing to provide the Instagram functionality in ProPresenter 6. But very suddenly and without any warning on April 4, 2018, Facebook, the company, shut-off the Instagram API Platform ahead of the scheduled date of December 11, 2018. This early deprecation has left all third-party applications without a way to do queries and display of Instagram user feeds.

The following is Instagram’s statement regarding the matter:

To continuously improve Instagram users' privacy and security, we are accelerating the deprecation of Instagram API Platform, making the following changes effective immediately. We understand that this may affect your business or services, and we appreciate your support in keeping our platform secure.

These capabilities will be disabled immediately (previously set for July 31, 2018 or December 11, 2018 deprecation). The following will be deprecated according to the timeline we shared previously:

  • Public Content - all remaining capabilities to read public media on a user's behalf on December 11, 2018
  • Basic - to read a user’s own profile info and media in early 2020

The reason that Facebook shut down the Instagram API Platform ahead of schedule was because malicious actors who cycled through hundreds of thousands of different IP addresses to evade the basic protection of rate-limiting that Facebook had in place. These malicious actors were scraping users’ information and storing it. Facebook did not have a solution to this problem, and the answer they came to was to shut it down. In short, Facebook had to shut down the API to protect users’ security and privacy. 


WHAT ARE WE DOING ABOUT IT

As mentioned earlier, Facebook has released the new Instagram Graph API. However, to date, it does not have the same abilities that the Instagram API Platform did. The most significant missing functionality that is required for us to integrate Instagram into ProPresenter is “search.” Without the ability to perform a search, there is no way to filter the results that Instagram shows. At this time, we do not know if this functionality will be added back to the new Instagram Graph API or whether the Instagram API Platform will be re-opened with added security. Therefore, until that time, we don’t know if or when Instagram will return to ProPresenter. But we will provide an update to our users’ as we have official news about the future of the Instagram Graph API.


WHAT DO I NEED TO DO

We recommend our users log out of their Instagram accounts within ProPresenter immediately (under the "Services" tab in the Preferences panel) as the unexpected results received when our software communicates with the Instagram servers may cause instability in the application.

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  1. Shane Smallwood

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