App developers hit by crippling Instagram API update

Facebook has dragged Instagram into the Cambridge Analytica fallout - and developers of third-party apps aren't happy...

Instagram API

The fallout from the Cambridge Analytica data scandal has continued, with Instagram throttling third-party apps without any warning.

The app has drastically reduced the amount of data developers can pull from it API – the tool that enables third parties to interface with the app.

Apps were previously able to make 5,000 API calls per hour – the process in which they could exchange data with Instagram. That has now been reduced to just 200 per hour, leading to apps that analyze followers and help users grow their audiences no longer working.

The development has perhaps unsurprisingly caused anger among a developer community seemingly caught unawares…

What’s more, an Instagram spokesperson told TechCrunch that it will be “speeding up the previously announced deprecation of the Instagram API Platform”. According to TechCrunch, the APIs for follower lists, relationships, and commenting on public content will cease to function immediately.

Parent company Facebook had already put the brakes on its targeted advertising offering by discontinuing its Partner Categories program, which enabled third-party data providers to offer their targeting directly on Facebook.

In making the announcement, Facebook cited “people’s privacy” as being behind the decision.

The company has also rolled out changes to how users can manage their data settings. These options had previously been scattered over as many as 20 screens, Facebook said, although they are now available in a single control panel.

Facebook has certainly responded decisively in order to protect its users’ data. That it took a very public backlash for them to do so raises awkward questions for Mark Zuckerberg; questions he will have to try and answer when he appears before Congress on April 10th.

>> READ MORE: Facebook warning to apps after Cambridge Analytica data scandal <<

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