Instagram introduces new hashtag search API for businesses

Written by Melissa Evans

Instagram rolled out a new hashtag search API that allows businesses to search for up to 30 hashtags within a seven-day period.

The new hashtag search API will replace the hashtag search feature that is currently part of the Instagram Platform API. The older feature will no longer be available after December 11, 2018.

Instagram introduces new hashtag search API

Why marketers should care

Unlike the previous hashtag search feature, the new hashtag search API has a few restrictions. For starters, businesses will now be limited to the number of queries it can perform during a seven-day period.

From the Hashtag Search API developer 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.”

Also, search results will not include personally identifiable information, nor will businesses be able to comment on hashtagged media objects via the API. Hashtags used in Instagram Stories will not be identified by the new API.

While the new hashtag search API is more limited in what it offers compared to the previous search feature, it is still a valuable resource for businesses. Being able to search hashtags gives you the opportunity to identify relevant conversations and trends that can help inform your marketing strategy. It also offers a quick way to discover negative commentary about a brand that may be happening on the platform.

More on the Instagram Hashtags API

  • Businesses that want to use the new API will have to undergo an App Review process to receive approval for access to the Instagram Public Content Access feature and the Instagram_basic permission requirement.

  • Instagram is rumored to be testing a hashtag selector tool that would allow marketers to add hashtags to a post that would not be listed in the caption.

  • In addition to deprecating the Instagram API search feature on December 11, Instagram is also ending the ability to post and delete comments or review public profile info and media on a user’s behalf via its API.

Limitations

  • You can query a maximum of 30 unique hashtags on behalf of an Instagram Business User within a rolling, 7 day period. Once you query a hashtag, it will count against this limit for 7 days. Subsequent queries on the same hashtag within this time frame will not count against your limit, and will not reset its initial query 7 day timer.
  • Personally identifiable information will not be included in responses.
  • You cannot comment on hashtagged media objects discovered through the API.
  • Hashtags on Stories are not supported.
  • Emojis in hashtag queries are not supported.