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Instagram’s push for a more consumer-centric world

In an era where consumer data is a critical piece of the foundation of most brand-consumer relationships, it can be tough to keep up with best practices around preserving data privacy. At Olapic, our primary goal has always been to put consumers first. By providing solutions for user-generated content, short-form video and influencer marketing, we aim to create a common ground between brands and their customers via authentic marketing.

2018 saw its fair share of industry changes and steps towards a reality where consumers are in control. We’re proud to be a close partner with Facebook and Instagram and have worked to stay abreast of changes in order to provide the best possible experience for our customers. This year we also witnessed a handful of updates to Instagram, beginning with the introduction of the Graph API.

Noteworthy Changes

Earlier this year, Instagram introduced the Graph API which gave clients access to collect from tags, @mentions and post automatically to Instagram. That release protects personally identifiable information (PII) by limiting which details can be accessed via the API. A simple way to define PII is any sort of information that can be used to identify a user, from a person shown in an image, someone’s location, their username, or other details along those lines. This month, we’re anticipating another release which will limit the number of hashtags you can collect from and sunsetting collecting location data.

A Better Instagram for Its Users, and You

All of these changes are in favor of creating a better platform for users, and for partners. In 2018, Instagram has taken a closer look at how partners access data and communicate with users on the platform. Based on their findings, they subsequently made changes to create a more positive experience. We see the changes as having two major overarching benefits:

Protecting User Data:

  • Limit PIIA global survey by Mobile Ecosystem Forum found that just 27% of respondents felt they had some control over how their personal data is used by mobile apps and services, and 36% of respondents felt they had no control over how apps use their data. As the shift towards consumer control continues, it only makes sense that we’d see greater protection of PII.
  • Greater Emphasis on Obtaining Consent – 2018 was no stranger to data breaches and regulations around data privacy such as GDPR, and in turn Instagram has begun pushing towards an environment that further promotes data consent and transparency.

Creating Positive Communities:

  • Less Spam – Both Instagram releases included updates that help to limit spam and fake accounts, by discontinuing activities that bots rely on heavily, such as automatic following, commenting and liking. These changes help to strengthen influencer marketing by greatly reducing the ways users can artificially boost their influence.
  • More Control Over Communicating with Your Audience – Updates have also included things like comment moderation and a pivot towards @mentions, both of which help brands use Instagram to drive interactions at scale, by making it easier to more efficiently interact with your audience through comments and @mentions.
  • @Mentions Indicate Interest – One of the main benefits of this shift is the ability to collect from @mentions. @mentions gives you access to high-quality content from people who want to engage with your brand. There is on average a 12% higher rights approval rate with content tagged by @mention. By mentioning brands directly through @mentions, users are actively inviting your brand to the conversation.

As Instagram continues to makes changes to protect user data and promote positive communities, @mentions take on greater importance and should be the foundation of your collection strategy. Emphasize collecting from @mentions and make sure your audience and influencers know to mention your brand handle. On our side, we’ll continue to work with Facebook to help you take advantage of the new updates they release and so that we can serve as an educated resource around future changes.

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