Instagram API changes, may affect many plugins

It was brought to my attention by one of by buyers that Instagram Kills Off Feed Reading Apps

It will affect every plugin here that fetches content from Instagram. How come it’s not announced by Envato too, as brightly as Facebook’s API changes were, a year time ago? This is more serious and happens faster.

  1. If you use your own app and let your buyers connect to it:
    You’ll need to have the app reviewed and approved, else it’ll cease to function after June 1st, 2016. Getting it approved will prove to be difficult since they’ve just changed their standpoint and no longer allow apps to replicate Instagram’s features. Also, they are removing the feed endpoint and who knows what more. What will happen to all the Instagram gallery plugins here? And presently how come you don’t hit the API rate limits, while it’s essentially just one app for all your buyers? They all depend on your app.

  2. If you make buyers set up their own app:
    Starting from today new apps are already in sandbox mode, meaning that they are useless. Instagram’s sillines shines here that you can’t even have your new app reviewed and approved before Dec 3! Previously created apps will function only until June 1st, 2016 unless reviewed and approved for use.

Depending on how strict their review process will be, this could mean the end of an era, like how Twitter changed their mind about their API some time ago, giving custom Twitter widgets a very hard time. Yet many themes still use those today. So maybe their approval will be as easy to get as applying for a Flickr API key? Or more serious like Facebook’s apps?

Anyhow there needs to be an announcement about this much like there was for Facebook API v2 changes.

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Thanks for starting this thread… I sell an Instragram plugin that uses option #2 (make buyers setup their own app). From the little bit of testing I’ve done with the new API, it looks like the plugin can still be functionality in sandbox mode, but the API will only pull data from users that are added as Sandbox users for the Instagram app. Unfortunately, this limits my plugin (and I’m sure many other plugins) greatly… It’s promoted to be able to display multiple Instagram feeds and categories, which is not possible with this new Sandbox setting.

I’m going to be spending some more time trying to figure out if there’s a workaround (but there probably won’t be). If I figure anything out I’ll post here.

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Hi, I’ve posted a more detailed version here on my support FAQ: What’s happening to Instagram? Their API is changing!

But basically nothing new. I don’t wish to start an approval process on my still-working apps as they would stop working if they fail the request, I think. Option #1 would be feasible IF you can get your own app reviewed somehow - not saying one should lie to Instagram but perhaps there is a loophole.

Sandbox is ridiculous, it’s like the content you can pull is only from you or the 5 users you add and the last 20 entries, like there were no other content on the entire Instagram. I suggest we move on to other social sites that support hashtags, selfies, location tagging - Facebook?

Yeah, the outlook doesn’t seem very optimistic. I do agree that option #1 would could work, and actually would be the best scenario from a user standpoint… But, I don’t know how you would deal with the API rate limits.

I modified my plugin to use option #1 and have submitted a new app to Instagram for review. I haven’t heard anything back from them yet, but I’ll comment once I do.


Do you have any news about your App?

I have submitted an App to Instagram for review and my App was declined for General issues…
I don’t understand why but it seems to be hard to be accepted now. Maybe if you have been accepted you can share some tips about it? It would be great, thanks!

Yes this general issue is because of their new rules. I haven’t even tried to submit it for approval, as I don’t want to mess up a still-working and old app, but I’ll try with another one. I doubt it will be successful without lying about what the app does…

Yes it requires to create an app that follows their new rules. Grid systems are forbidden now or any app which looks like to Instagram.
I will also try with another concept. Fortunately the review time from Instagram is relatively quick about 1-2 days.

I just checked my submission, which got denied. Here is the response (which seems to just be a generic response):

General issues:
Invalid Use Case: The use case described in your submission notes, screencast and website is not a valid use case that we allow on our Platform. Please see our Permissions Review and valid use cases description ( for more information.

This permission (public_content) does not support the use case you described in your submission notes, screencast and website. Please review Login Permissions ( for a comprehensive list of permissions and valid use cases.

I’m honestly not sure what they are looking for, or what I could possibly change to “meet their requirements” which are pretty vague. The requirements can be found here

As of right now I think I may just have to scrap my plugin and be done with Instagram. If someone actually gets an app approved please let us know what your app is and how you did it…

Same here… we sent 4 submissions, trying to following their requirements but it seems like they just are declining everything… if someone got the permissions please let us know how you did it… I can say now I HATE INSTAGRAM.


Hi everyone, has anyone had an update on a solution for this Instagram restriction? Curious to know your thoughts on this…



Hi everyone!
I have the same problem, I sent 2 submissions, which got denied… LOL
My app needs public_content Scope but Instagram approved only my basic request.
I am wondering whether you may help me to use my app to solve this issue.

Regards: amir

I just submitted my app again… I didn’t change anything with my plugin, but am trying to describe my app differently and provided a new screencast. My previous submission was denied for both “basic” and “public_content” and I’m not sure why.

Instagram’s description of their “requirements” are way too vague, plus there isn’t any way to inquired as to what aspect of an app caused the Decline. Pretty frustrating.

I’ll post again after I get a response from my latest submission… I’m not getting my hopes up.

Well, I was just declined for both basic and public_content again… This is very frustrating. I have a very difficult time understanding (apparently) their “valid use case scenarios” and what consists of “public_content support”. I believe I fall under these 2 categories exactly, but since we don’t get any specific feedback there is no way to know why we get declined.

I think it’s futile. It’s in the legal mumbo jumbo:

But most importantly:

  • 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.

If it’s not for one of these, you’ll get rejected. Source: Instagram Platform Update None of them say “create a gallery on a website” not even close :frowning:

The only way would be to build an aspect to the software that does this, have the app approved and then introduce “new” features that do what your plugin would originally do. But this is lying and using the app for something else other than it was approved for.

You’re probably right. I just submitted another attempt… Trying to use more of Instagram terminology in my descriptions this time. I think this will be my final attempt before I give Instagram the big middle finger.

Hi, any update on this topic? I cant get rewieved as well as you. Have you met the requirements during the permission review finally? Thanks a lot

JoeMC did you get it?!

Nope. I’m giving up for good. I even contacted an author of another plugin as I was assuming they had figured out how to get an their app approved… but, they said they haven’t been able to either and are currently trying to figure out if they need to refund customers or what their plan of action is before June or whenever the review becomes mandatory for existing products. Sounds like they will be discontinuing their plugin as well.

I think it’s pretty bad that some Instagram-capable plugins tend to remain in the dark about their future and just carry on until the deadline in a few months. Cashing in sales as long as they can. When not inspected closesly one might think they have an approved app but in reality they are just waiting out for it to collapse on them.