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Instagram Debuts New Hashtag Search API for Business Blog Feature

November 7th, 2018 min read

Since the deprecation of Instagram’s current Hashtag Search was announced to begin on December 11, 2018, we’ve been waiting for a follow up that highlights these new features.

This past Wednesday, news finally broke.

Instagram announced a new hashtag search API that will allow businesses to search up to 30 hashtags in a seven day period.

This new change comes with a very specific goal for the Instagram team of creating an API which enables marketers like you to expand your reach and build brand awareness, while protecting user privacy and safety.

That’s a change we can all get on board with! Anytime we can put our users first, we all win.

Let’s break down what’s actually happening with these changes.

What’s Coming with the New  Instagram Graph API?

The new Instagram Graph API features will include the following for businesses:

  • Hashtag Search (NEW!): This will allow businesses to find public photos and videos that have been tagged with a hashtag  relevant to their business or audience.

  • Insights (Existing): Businesses can access and analyze valuable metrics about their business profile to contribute to the performance of their organic content.

  • Mentions (Existing): Identify public captions, comments, and other media in which your business account has been mentioned.

  • Comment Moderation (Existing): Efficiently interact with your audience through comments under their media on Instagram by replying to comments, deleting comments, hide/unhiding comments, and disable/enable comments on your media objects.

  • Business Discovery (Existing): Get basic metadata and metrics for other business accounts

  • Content Publishing (BETA!): Through Facebook Marketing Partners and Instagram Partners only, post an image to a feed with or without a caption. Scheduling has never been available on Instagram until now, so this is huge for brands!

It's currently unclear if/how these changes will affect non-business accounts. 

But Here’s the Catch...

Unlike the previous hashtag search feature, the new API will be limited to the number of queries it can perform during a seven day period.

From the Facebook for Developers page, “You can query a maximum of 30 unique hashtags on behalf of an Instagram Business User within a rolling, 7 day period.

A queried hashtag will count against this limit as soon as it is queried. Subsequent queries on that hashtag within 7 days of the initial query will not count against the limit.”

Search results will no longer include personally identifiable information, nor will business be able to comment on hash-tagged media objects via the API. Hashtags that appear in Instagram Stories will also not be identified by the new API.

Next Steps

Don’t fret, while this new API is more limited in features compared to previous versions, it’s still super valuable.

Posts that have at least one hashtag average 12.6% more engagement and lead to more followers. Having the ability to search hashtags allows businesses to identify relevant conversations and trends that can help inform your marketing strategy.

It also provides a quick way to find negative commentary surrounding a brand giving businesses the ability to address it swiftly.

Learn more about the changes here and mark your calendar for December 11, 2018 when changes take effect.

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