Following recent lapses in security, Instagram has announced changes in its API policy to prevent developers from misusing user data and they have also introduced a new review process for third party apps and services. The changes are being brought in as Instagram seeks to improve user control over content.
Instagram has stressed that the new policy will continue to allow users to share their own content with third party apps. Cases detailed by the company include apps which let users print their Instagram photos and import an Instagram photo as a profile picture.
However, apps which require access to the entire Instagram feed will no longer be permitted. Instagram will also start reviewing all new and existing apps before granting full API access starting December 3rd. New applications from now will not be granted access until at least that date. Existing apps have until January 1st to update their apps to comply with the new policies being put in place.
The company said that:
“We’ve heard from the community that it can be unclear where their content is being shared and viewed, so today we are deprecating the /users/self/feed and /media/popular API endpoints for new apps. Existing apps will have until the end of the review period before access to the endpoints is terminated.”
Instagram says that the new API changes will help broadcasters and publishers discover content as well as get digital rights to media and share media using web embeds. Instagram also confirmed plans to launch Sandbox Mode which will allow developers to privately build and test apps using the Instagram API as the app is being reviewed.
The changes come just days after a third party app called InstaAgent was found to harvest user names and passwords and send them to an unknown server. The app was titled, “Who viewed your profile – InstaAgent” and was available on both Google Play and the iOS App Store. The app has since been pulled.
Instagram has over 400 million users and over 80 million pictures shared daily.