Instagram’s Policy changes

Instagram has recently changed its policies, affecting how users interact with the apps using their API. This article explains these changes, how they impact our users, and what you can do to stay compliant.

Instagram’s Policy changes

Instagram changed its privacy policy. This change affects all Instagram API apps, including our service – LightWidget.

The main change is that Instagram now requires each App using its API to go through a review process. In the past, access to the API was open, and everyone could create an app. Sadly, it also opened the possibility of creating malicious and spam applications. The review process will enforce the apps’ quality in the future.

LightWidget went successfully through the review process on Instagram. It means that we can continue serving our widgets to you! The sad part is that we had to make some changes to our widget creator to stay compliant, which might break some functionalities of your widgets.

The significant changes that affect our service

Here is the list of changes that we had to make in LightWidget to stay compliant:

  1. Creating a widget based on the @username of the Instagram account is no longer possible. Each Instagram account requires authorization before you can use it in your feed.
  2. Creating the widget for the given #hashtag is no longer possible. You can only show photos from your Instagram account tagged with a given #hashtag. 

Everything else on our website remains the same.


You might have some questions regarding the policy changes. Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions.

When will you implement all the changes?

We plan to implement everything as soon as possible but want to implement only some things simultaneously. There will be a few steps in the process. We will update this blog post and our Twitter account with the latest changes.

What does that mean for people who are using your widgets?

We need your approval to get the photos from your Instagram account and show them in our widgets. We need the authorization to update your widget with new images and create new widgets.

What is this whole authorization process anyway?

It’s straightforward, and it takes less than a minute to complete. You need to connect your Instagram account with our App. More detailed instructions are here – How to connect Instagram account?

Does that mean I need to authorize your App via Instagram before I can generate a widget for my website?

Yes, that is correct. Before using the widget on your website, you must permit us to display your photos. It is simple and takes less than a minute.

I’m a developer, and I don’t have access to the @client Instagram account. Can I generate the widget for my client?

Yes, you can. Please follow the instructions in this article – How to create the widget for a client?

I want to generate the widget for #sport and fetch photos from all Instagram accounts marked with this hashtag.

Unfortunately, due to a change in Instagram’s Privacy Policy, it is not possible with our widget for now.

What will happen to old @username widgets? Will they be deleted? Do I need to generate a new widget?

Until the end of May 2016, they will work as usual. After that, they will stop pulling new photos, but the widget will be available and display old images for some time.

What will happen to old #hashtag widgets?

Until the end of May 2016, they will work as usual. After that, they will stop pulling new photos. Widgets will be available and display pictures from the last update for some time.

I have upgraded the widget for @username. Do I need to authorize it as well?

Yes, this change affects all widgets and all Instagram accounts.

I have upgraded the widget for the #hashtag. What should I do?

You should change your widget settings to display the photos from your Instagram account and use the Hashtag filtering option to show pictures from your Instagram account with a given tag. 

Comments (1)

  • The terms are reasonable enough I'm all in

    Eric Ford

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