Businesses on Instagram Will Still Be Able to Search Hashtags on a Limited Basis

An API change restricts the number of uniques and pieces of content

The user name field was also removed to protect users’ privacy chaofann/iStock

As part of changes to the Instagram Graph API (application-programming interface) that were announced in January and go into effect Dec. 11, the ability for businesses to search hashtags via the API is being removed, but the Facebook-owned photo- and video-sharing network announced a scaled-down version of that capability Wednesday.

Software engineer Namrita Pandita revealed in a blog post that a new hashtag search function was added to the Instagram Graph API, giving businesses the ability to find public photos and videos that were tagged with hashtags that are relevant to their business profiles.

However, those businesses will be limited to pulling 30 unique hashtags per week, as well as to 50 pieces of content per request. The user name field was also removed to protect users’ privacy.

Pandita wrote, “With this new feature, businesses will still be able to discover content, measure the reach of their marketing campaigns and understand public sentiment around their brand. However, we will now be limiting the number of unique hashtags that can be pulled by businesses per-week, content per-request and removing ‘username’ from fields returned … Our team has been working to create an API that enables appropriate business use-cases, while protecting user privacy and safety.” David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.