Affective June 1, 2016, Instagram introduced a platform update that greatly affects, if not, totally disables 3rd party integration. According to Instagram, "Apps that have not been approved and were created before November 17, 2015 will go into sandbox mode on June 1, 2016."
The most significant change that limits third-party applications is the ability to have direct access to public feeds. Essentially, this places limitations on the social component of any third party app.
Some applications that were most affected by these changes were apps like Repost for iOS, Retro for the iPad, and PhotoDesk for the Mac. All three applications provided easy access to various feeds including public feeds where you could easily view posts by others. The prerequisite for these features required basic access to your Instagram login credentials. These third-party options for Instagram provided improved options for re-posting, viewing, sharing, and downloading content.
According to Instagram, the APIs were created in 2011, so an update was needed in order to give customers more control over their content. The update promises to make it easier to share content that "you own," but limits how you can share or view content by others.
Due to the recent update, Repost modified the process for reposting content created by others. Access to content within the app itself is not available, but users can re-post any photo on Instagram by selecting the three dots on the top right corner of any post found on Instagram, copying the URL, and re-opening the Repost app. Photodesk is still able to provide the basic layout features, including an expanded view of your personal Instagram feeds, people you follow, and people who follow you, but direct access to the public feed was eliminated; you can only access other feeds by using the search option. Retro for the iPad (right), relied heavily on direct access to public feeds, so it was forced to shut down development.
The main benefit to using third party options is to seek a nice alternative to the browsing/social experience on Instagram, and apps like Repost, Retro, and Photodesk achieved that. It remains to be seen whether Instagram's new APIs can be used by third party developers to enhance the user experience, or if we are simply forced to rely exclusively on the "official" Instagram app.
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