The upside of Instagram & Facebook's API crack down

Instagram and Facebook are at it again - changing their "API" - which impacts many apps and platforms that interact with them.

This means that if you are using apps connected to your social media accounts (i.e. scheduling apps), you are likely to find that some features no longer function. The alleged changes below were in from this article by Later Media and this by Iconosquare.

The good news:

1. The change in the API means those platforms that used bots are very unlikely to work anymore. 2. Users can no longer follow/unfollow others from these platforms.

So while we may see lower engagement than we are used to, we know that it is actually GENUINE and REAL!

The challenging news:

1. If you are using a third-party app to schedule Facebook posts, you will no longer be able to tag other Facebook pages.

2. If you have a personal (rather than Business) Instagram account, you won’t be able to post or delete comments from anywhere except the Instagram API.

3. We may no longer be able to see our follower demographics via other apps, or how quickly we gained/lost followers.

4. Hashtag generators also may no longer function.

My response to this?

Yes some of this is frustrating and I'll be reporting on more fall out from this change as it happens. But let's look for the blessing in disguise here.

I posted a while ago about being wary about relying on scheduling apps. I love Plann, but Plann actually doesn't auto-post for us - and it doesn't want to [read why here]. I manually post all of my Instagram posts, preparing the content (when I can!) ahead of time. I also schedule my posts in Facebook itself.

Social media is not a 'distribution' channel. It's not for us to push out content. To make it 'work' for us, we actually need to be on the platforms being social, learning about our audience, and giving more than we hope to receive. I'm sure not perfect, and this is always something I'm working on.

But I see this reduced functionality in apps that make posting easier for us as a good reminder to not be lazy or despondent with our social media.

My advice?

Slow down online and GIVE.

If you spend 20 minutes each day scrolling, spend that 20 minutes giving instead.

Take the time to write a meaningful reply to that message.

Stop and read that caption and let that person know how much you appreciate what they are sharing.

One real connection made is so much more powerful for your business (and headspace!) than a handful more likes or followers.