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When Instagram announced its plans for an updated version of their social listening API (the new Graph API) we looked forward to December 11, 2018 as a critical milestone for NetBase and our customers. We had a lot work to do, including updating our platform to support the new APIs and getting all of our customers migrated to the new data services quickly and seamlessly without any interruption in their Instagram listening data.

Well, how’d we do? 

Fantastic! Our Engineering, Customer Success, Professional Services, and Account Management teams knocked it out of the park! As of yesterday over 1,000 of our customers have been successfully migrated and are seeing value in the new Instagram services.

I have heard that other vendors haven’t been so lucky, but then again, that’s why we are the leader in the social listening industry. But don’t take my word for it, hear from our customers talking about why they choose NetBase!

But as straightforward as I’m making it sound, there were many steps in making this transition successful. It required lots of forward planning. Allow me to recap:

Single-client data pools – Check!

Thanks to our amazing Engineering and Product teams, we were ready to hit the ground running – and we did! NetBase updated our infrastructure several months ago to support the single client’s data pools. It’s something we consistently accomplish for our clients (to jump on accommodating changes early) to give them every competitive advantage. And when we hear where other social listening vendors are today, and how they’re just really ramping up, we know our efforts are recognized and appreciated.

With the new version of the Instagram API and updated terms of uses, listening platforms must create individual data pools for each client, even with public, non-restricted content. This means only those Instagram channels and keywords that you have specifically defined for tracking are what you can see. Unfortunately, this restricts search-based analytics tools to only the data in your own Instagram data pool, but you can still search across all of your own collected Instagram content, which is really your most relevant content anyway.

Updated authentications – Check!

This was quite a change for many customers, but our amazing Customer Success and Professional Services team were there to assist our users in this critical step. In fact, we created a “Getting Started” video explaining everything users needed to know and a checklist for our customers to use as a roadmap for collecting everything they needed to be successful during this transition, including required authorizations, identifying channels, and specifying hashtags for tracking.

The new Instagram Graph API is the only source for collecting Instagram content, and it has specific requirements on user authentication required for NetBase and other listening platforms to collect data on our customers’ behalf.  To authenticate our platform to collect Instagram data, customers need to identify one or more Facebook users with specific permissions (moderator or analyst roles) on a Facebook page which is linked to an Instagram business account.

Once the authorized users have been identified and the proper permissions configured the next step is to define the business channels you want to track. This can be any business channel for tracking, but the data collected depends on whether or not the channel is one of your own vs. that of competitors or influencers. I discussed this in my last blog which gives a more visual representation of the data available from Instagram for each type of business channel. Our customers found this visual description very helpful for understanding, so here is another link that you can bookmark!

Business channels updated – Check! Check!

Most NetBase customers had already specified several Instagram business channels for tracking in their existing social web topics. This made the transition easy for most customers. Our Customer Success and Professional Services teams used this information to provide each customer with a list of owned Instagram pages they were already tracking which expedited their internal process of getting the right permissions necessary to continue the channel tracking.

30 hashtags per business page – Check! Check! Check!

The sudden update on hashtag tracking by Instagram back on October 31, 2018 was a welcome surprise, but one which added some restrictions as to the number of hashtags you can monitor for a given channel.

The new AP enables customers to collect Instagram mentions using up to 30 unique hashtags for every given authorized Instagram channel. Customers that want to switch out hashtags are limited to 30 hashtags for any rolling period of seven days. Users will need to plan ahead, hashtags can’t be switched without waiting a week from the time you start tracking a hashtag before switching it out for a new one.

The good news – the more authorized user profiles you have linked to different Instagram business accounts will enable you to collect an additional 30 hashtags for each business account. Make sense? Reach out to our team and we’ll clarify everything for you.

The net of it all?

The holidays are an extremely busy time of year for consumers to share on social media, and Instagram is one of the most important channels for many businesses to connect with their customers – and NetBase customers are!

If you are still unclear if and when your social listening platform will be ready for these new Instagram changes, reach out and let NetBase show you how it can happen right now.

NetBase customers are successfully leveraging the new Instagram data services today. And, as always, they’ll be first to have access to each update as they happen in the future. Doesn’t your brand deserve the same thing?

 

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