Everybody loves Instagram (except me, probably, I mean I love it, but it’s just one more thing to keep up with and I always feel super guilty when I don’t like or comment back). The beauty shots, the flatlays, the filters, it’s like a little photo candy store for those who are in any way artistically inclined (or shameless self-promoters!). But there’s one reason to love Insta a little less this week too, they recently made some changes, and it goes a little deeper than the new rainbow-colored icon.
Recently, Instagram made some big API changes. What is API you ask? (p.s. this is why you hire a blog designer!). API stands for Application Programming Interface. In short, it’s app development. It’s the way an app talks back to your site or blog through their own servers. So, when Instagram makes a change, sometimes it requires you make a change too. Like in a bad relationship, the communication has virtually stopped. So, while this is in no means a comprehensive overview of each and every Instagram widget out there, I just wanted to share a few tips to help demystify these new changes.
There are a myriad of Insta widgets for WordPress out there, and all of them are going to ask for one thing right off the bat. An Access Token. All this is is a string of characters that allow Instagram and a widget to talk back and forth to each other. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to get your Access Token here. Be sure you’re logged into Instagram on your computer, then go to the link and just click the green Generate Access Token. Copy the link, and voila, you have your Access Token. If your Instagram widget in your WordPress blog asks for the Access Token, you can just paste it here. The other item you will need is your User ID. Fortunately, there is a handy dandy little tool here where you can simply enter your Insta username and it will generate your User ID. What if you’re on Blogger or a non-Wordpress blog? There’s also a very handy and currently free tool here called Snapwidget, which allows you to create a widget that you can paste into any blog or website without using a widget or gadget (it has had some issues this week but it is an extremely popular tool so I have faith they will be sorted out).
Keep in mind that as Instagram makes changes, every plugin developer has to make changes too, so you have to be prepared for issues to arise. You may need to try a new plugin, or be patient as plugins are updated. But hopefully this post will help to at least demystify some of the language and help you with the basics of getting an Instagram feed up and running on your blog or website. And remember, this is a great reason to hire a blog designer for your custom blog design, I spend a lot of time keeping up with the latest technological changes and it’s always good to have a pro on your side!