Last year, Instagram announced that they would be making some changes to their data and public APIs, and would discontinue some features that have long been available. As a result, starting on December 11th, access to public hashtag tracking as you know it, will no longer be available on Pulsar TRAC nor for any social media platform. You can read more about Facebook’s decision here.
That said, a new hashtag search is coming soon to TRAC! Instagram have recently announced they will be offering a replacement API called the Hashtag Search API and Pulsar is in the process of integrating this new API into TRAC, so watch this space for further announcements.
So what happens between now and when the New Hashtag Search is available?
In anticipation of the deprecation of public hashtag tracking on Dec 11th, we have been working on migrating all of Pulsar’s products to Instagram’s New Graph API.
Going forward, this new API will be the only way to access Instagram data, which puts Pulsar in a good place to switch on any new functionalities as they get introduced, case in point - the new Hashtag Search capabilities.
You will notice a trend with all new Facebook & Instagram APIs, in that they are specifically designed for brands and businesses. Instagram, for example has features such as Stories, Insights, Business Discovery and Brand tracking. Some of these you’d have already seen on CORE, and we've now integrated some of them into TRAC.
The first of these features is the ability to collect media where your business or brand has been tagged. This is available in a TRAC Topic search. To use this feature, you must first add your business profile token to Pulsar TRAC, during the search setup. And when someone tags your business or brand in a photo, Pulsar will collect that photo post, along with the comments & no. of likes that post has received.
You will find this option during search setup for Topic searches only. And of course you'd need to select Instagram during your data sources selection to have access to this feature.
The second one is the ability to track Instagram Business Profiles in a TRAC Panel Search.
This is a new addition to our Audience search capabilities on Pulsar. You can now track multiple Instagram Profiles as a panel. So if you're interested in tracking some Instagram fashion Influencers, then all you need to do is add their profiles to your Audience search. Note though that the profiles you are tracking will need to be business profiles, not regular Instagram profiles.
The data we get includes the following:
- the number of comments received
- the number of likes received
- And the post or video
Lastly, one single token allows you track 5 business profiles at a time, but if you wish to add more profiles, then you'd have to add more tokens. The good news is that once you have done this the first time round, the process is now automatic and you don't need to go through the authorisation process every time you try and add a token.
What happens to the hashtags I am currently tracking?
If you've been collecting Instagram hashtags in your Topic searches, your older data will remain in your searches as is. However, to keep collecting Instagram data in your Topic searches, you will be required to update your searches to start collecting this new Instagram data.
To give you an example, let's say you are the brand Gucci and you have been tracking the IG hashtag #gucci in your Topic searches. What you need to now do is add your Instagram business profile token to Pulsar TRAC, during search set up, and by doing so you will start collecting any Instagram posts where gucci has been tagged in a photo or video.
Anything else I need to do?
Nope, you’re good to go. Just keep an eye out for further announcements on the new Hashtag Search feature, which is coming soon in early January 2019.