Instagram is no doubt one of the most used services on the iPhone as it has more than two million users in just a few months while there is just an iPhone app. Instagram has no Android app, no website, no real third-party support, however as of today, Instagram is finally unveiling its API, and they have shown some really nice implementations to demonstrate the capability of Instagram API.
Instagram Co-founder Kevin Systrom says early on, they could have integrated a simple API , however the folks at Instagram did not want to do that. The company had decided to make an API which was scalable to a great level whilst providing a realtime feed of whatever was happening on the service that is Instagram. Today, Instagram has unveiled this realtime API for four different elements of Instagram: user photos, tags, locations, and geographies.
Instagram describes them as:
1) Users of the developer’s application: every time a user of an Instagram-linked application posts a photo, the developer’s application will receive a notification.
2) Tags: An application can track a given tag and receive updates every time a new photo is posted with a given tag.
3) Locations: Every time a new photo is geo-tagged with a specific location, the developer will receive a notification.
4) Geographies: Sometimes individual locations are too specific. For these cases, we suggest subscribing to Geographies. Geographies consist of a latitude and longitude and a radius. This allows developers to subscribe to a given area like Austin or a specific city block of Manhattan.
So if you are a developer and if you sign up for the API, you can choose which of these four key areas of Instagram API to implement in your app. There’s also a demo site to give an example of what subscribing to certain geographies and getting updates in realtime looks like.
- Instagram users own their images. It’s your responsibility to make sure that you respect that right.
- You cannot use the Instagram name in your application.
- You cannot use the Instagram API to crawl and/or store users’ images without their express consent.
- You cannot replicate the core user experience of Instagram.com
- Do not abuse the API. Too many requests too quickly will get your access turned off
This should also be kept in mind that the API for now, is read-only.
Excited about the Instagram API? We are too! The implementation possibilities are endless. Let us see what developers have in store for us.