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Hookit: Instagram data privacy changes and the impact on the sports industry

Digital sponsorship value analysts Hookit assess the impact of Instagram's recent platform API shutdown.

18 April 2018 Guest Contributor

On 4th April 2018, Instagram shut down its platform API effective immediately without any warning to its partners and developers.

Sponsorships are a crowded market and proving value is becoming an absolute necessity to compete in the marketplace moving forward.

Of all the social media platforms last year, Instagram accounted for the majority of the value that properties drove for their sponsoring brands. These stats explain the impact and value that could potentially go untracked:

  • US$13 billion – the value that sports properties drove for their sponsoring brands in 2017 on Instagram
  • 85 per cent of all social engagements around the 2018 Olympics happened on Instagram
  • 11.3 million – the number of likes on the most popular post on Instagram in 2017
  • 4.7 billion – the number of engagements Bleacher Report drove on Instagram in 2017

With these changes, the sports industry will need to take steps to ensure a large portion of their sponsorship value doesn’t go unmeasured.


Towards the end of January 2018, Instagram announced proposed changes in their API and planned to phase out its older platform API over the next two years with the first changes going into effect July 31, 2018. Instead of this phased deprecation, Instagram shut down access effective immediately due to recent privacy concerns. This sudden and immediate change has created a significant gap in the Instagram data that any third-party platform can gather, be it a legitimate partner or data-abuser.

What is the effect of this change?

These new changes will severely restrict the amount of data that can be accessed from Instagram. The immediate effects will be:

  • Any content that is posted from a non-authenticated account cannot be tracked
  • Audience data will become unavailable for non-authenticated accounts
  • Loss of follower growth data for non-authenticated accounts
  • Restricted data from hashtags and geo-tagged posts

How can you combat this?

Authenticating your Instagram account within your spontech platform is key. Until now, the Instagram API provided access to all public accounts – be it individual or business. But with the new Instagram Graph API, sports entities will be able to access Instagram data only if they have an authenticated account. In short, any social media reporting platforms will not have any data from accounts that are not authenticated. Therefore, the most important and crucial step to prevent any loss of your Instagram analytics is to authenticate your Instagram account with your spontech platform today. Here’s a step-by-step guide that explains the situation in detail and walks you through how to authenticate your account.

What’s next?

We believe and support the responsible use of data while also ensuring that data is available to empower your sponsorship decisions. By authenticating your accounts, you can also prevent potential misuse of your business data by unverified third party sources and continue to gain sponsorship intelligence from trusted platforms such as Hookit. Get your guide to keeping your data.


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