Instagram Further Tightens Third-Party Access to User Data

The Basic Permission is being depreciated March 2, 2020, in favor of the new Basic Display API

Instagrammers will be able to authorize or cancel access directly via this screen Instagram
Headshot of David Cohen

Instagram is deprecating its Basic Permission, which enables applications to read users’ profile information and media, on March 2, 2020, in favor of its new Basic Display API (application-programming interface).

The Facebook-owned photo- and video-sharing network said this marks the last update related to the Graph API migration it initially revealed in August 2017.

The Basic Display API will enable third-party apps and websites to provide the option to import photos from Instagram or connect/link to Instagram.

Instagram said in a blog post, “Some examples include apps that allow you to easily print your Instagram photos or help you build a website. After connecting your account to a third-party service, you may grant them access to some of your profile information, such as your username and photos. Starting today, we’re making it easier for people to manage all of the third-party services they connect to their Instagram account.”

Users can do this by going to Settings in the Instagram app, tapping Security, and then tapping Apps and Websites. This will give them the option to remove any third-party services that they no longer want or need to be connected to their accounts.

Once removed, those services will no longer have access to new data on those Instagram accounts.


Instagram also updated the authorization screen that users see when a third-party app or website is requesting access to their accounts, and they will be able to authorize or cancel access directly via that screen.


On the developer side, profile and media information were separated into two distinct permissions to apply for, and several data fields were depreciated in order to minimize data exposure and ensure user safety and privacy, including location data and follower count.

Instagram said in a separate blog post for developers, “The Instagram Basic Display API is designed to support consumer use cases for individuals with personal accounts. Businesses and creators using tools for comment moderation, insights and planning and posting content should be directed to authenticate using the Instagram Business Basic Permission on the Instagram Graph API.” David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.