Instagram locks down API, breaks sharing through IFTTT


Instagram’s logo isn’t the only thing they’ve updated recently: They’ve also made significant changes to their API.

Internet automation service IFTTT posted a blog this afternoon detailing upcoming changes to the Instagram API. It would seem Facebook is locking the service up a bit tighter, which is going to hamper folks who like to share photos directly on services like Twitter.

IFTTT stands for “If This Than That”, which is a reference to a programming command. It’s an easy resource to automate certain behaviors between networks. This author uses it to coordinate data from his car to save engine info and to log his mileage on Google Docs. It also was a terrific resource to fix a major problem with Instagram.

Instagram was a fantastic platform for sharing. Uploading one photo would easily send that pic to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and check you in on Foursquare. Shortly following Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram, the behavior for sharing on Twitter was altered. Instead of sharing a photo, Instagram now shares a link on Twitter to the original photo upload.

Using the old API, users could have IFTTT skim the photo from Instagram to share the photo on Twitter while also linking back to the original post. It was far more helpful for actually engaging with photo fans online. Sharing only a link drastically reduces real interactions on Twitter.

Facebook giveth a new pretty app (which could really benefit from a night mode), and Facebook taketh away. You can read up on the upcoming Instagram changes, and read IFTTT’s response on their own blog.

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About The Author
Juan Carlos Bagnell
Juan has been geeking out on personal computing since before PCs had GUIs. After studying Theatre in college, Juan worked with a contractor that supported servers and mobile devices for Department of Energy facilities. After moving to Los Angeles California, and working as a commercial casting director, he now dedicates his time to discussing the tech landscape as a consumer advocate. You’ll often see him pop in local news broadcasts. Passionate about mobile content creation, he recently published his first book on smartphone photography.