Instagram actively seeking and destroying photos published through third party apps [Update]

Those of us attempting to use Instagram on our Windows Phones are left with no alternative but to utilise third party solutions. These apps are solid offerings in place of an official app from Instagram, but of course we're essentially going through back doors to get our content published. All was well for a short while with uploads presently available for viewing, but Instagram has evidently had enough.

It would seem as though Instagram is cracking down on content uploaded and shared through third party apps as popular unofficial app Instance appears to have been blocked. We only just covered some issues with Instance, but Daniel Gary, developer of the app took to Twitter to keep everyone in the loop with what's happening:

Gary also states he's been in touch with Rudy Huyn, another Windows Phone developer who is looking to create an unofficial Instagram app. It would appear as though it's not just Instance that's affected. According to the Instance developer, Instagram is actively seeking out photos uploaded to the service through third party apps to remove them immediately.

One could assume that Instagram is tracking accounts that use unofficial apps, including Instance. Unfortunately there's little developers can do except work around the issue. After all, we're talking about reverse engineering APIs, which isn't exactly placing developers and users in Instagram's good books. That said, the service could quit wasting resourcing in battling uploads from third party apps and release an official solution already.

Gary has confirmed to The Verge that he's actively working on a fix, but the issue is affecting all users of Instance. "It’s their servers, their service. What I was doing was not approved by them and was using their private API." We'll monitor the situation, we're sure more will follow. For the time being, Daniel Gary has stated he's hidden Instance from the Store.

Update: An Instagram spokesperson has confirmed with The Verge that they recently made some API changes. They claim the changes are made to fight spam and increase security. The changes aren't targeted at any specific app, like Instance, and instead impact any app using Instagram outside of the official API. 

Source: Twitter (@danielgary), via: The Verge


Reader comments

Instagram actively seeking and destroying photos published through third party apps [Update]



I think what we really need to ask ourselves is whether we should continue to use Instagram when somebody is able to reverse engineer their API's? How safe would our photographs be on Instagram??? Of course most of what we share is intended to be public and hardly anything personal and for show off and attract others to admire your snaps and comment and like them. Am I missing something here???

Hello my friend, but the old pictures that you posted is not showing to others. Mine either. Only the recently and with another apps like instagraph. The worst, That I always used Instagraph and now I am facing all the blank album (only to me is showing)=/

How are they petty enough to have time to search and destroy thoughtful apps but can't even develop their simple app for the WP8 platform? There must be more to this. Maybe a deal between Google & Facebook to keep Instagram off Windows Phone. I mean Facebook doesn't make an official app for us, so I don't expect an Instagram app any time soon. I might just stop using Instagram. But what is the deal with the MSFT/Facebook relationship? It isn't good and it seems like Google might play a role in this (a la Facebook Home).

wp is such a good platform it is starting to make others aware that it came to shake things up!!
It is only natural for google and iOS to try and persuade the likes of instagram and others from opening up to us WP users.
In time it will be more profitable to make use of a third platform and such things will become irrelevant.
So don't worry guys it will take time but most developers are migrating to windows phone.

I would like to see nokia backing those guys in protest against an official app, maybe hacking apis of their own and adding to #2instawithlove and see where that leads like Microsoft did with their oficial Youtube app!!

Just uploaded a photo using Instance and it was gone in a blink of an eye! WTF!
Time to use fhotoroom more!

Mine is still working to browse my timeline but I will stop publishing photos through Instance for now... I assume, because Hipstamatic Oggl has an agreement with Instagram, that publishing through that app will still work.

Someone clearly hates Windows Phone. So much even that they'd actually screw their own customers. Some services (sites, apps) are begging for active users and Instagram does everything it can to force them to competitors.

Over the past weeks I've been struggling to justify posting to Instagram. I mean, I have Twitter and Facebook where I have all the people I'm interested in sharing pictures with. Being honest, its only these same people of whom I share pics with on Instagram anyway! In light of this news, I will no longer support the social site/app. I can see how some will be annoyed, but for me there's no real loss.

The tragedy of this situation is eventually they will need our patronage to become "BIGGER THAN FB", and WP user will forget this insult is support them.

Get on Flickr, try Pixl...leave Instagram ;) #Revolution!

And Flickr gives you much more tighter control on your privacy, and if you like to post on Facebook, and Twitter just activate it in your account.

Pixl for Flickr ( and yea you can use Flickr like Instagram with 36 filters!!!!!!

1. I can't believe people didn't see this coming.
2. I REALLY cannot believe that people didn't see this coming. 
It was made clear from the start with Instance that any change to the API could affect the function of the app. The article here needs to be updated to reflect that Instagram have made an API change to improve security which is preventing uploads from unsigned/unnofficial apps.

Yep (from the Verge): An Instagram spokesperson has confirmed that the company has implemented a recent change to its API. "We recently made an update to the systems that we use to fight spam to help prevent future attacks and increase security," says a spokesperson. The change will affect any apps accessing Instagram outside of the official API, and it appears to be a broad change that doesn't target any particular application. 6tagram, another third-party Windows Phone Instagram client currently in beta, is also experiencing issues 

I get that, but what's up with them deleting old photos? If Instagram wants me to stop posting from 3rd party apps, okay, But don't just start deleting old photos and wiping accounts. That's not cool...

Fhotoroom is way better :)
The time IG are using deleting pics, they've had time to build an app...
But... WHO is paying off IG/FB???

Ok so instatards once again kill an experience that could have been good for them. How about this - everyone email into the president of the USA and say how instatards ate freaking screw heads and are deliberately trying to slow competition OS's. Or what ever you like. So say the pres gets 500k emails o one subject it may force his hand to at least get some questions answered on it.

Instagram only thinks short term, they are happy now because they probably took some bribe from google or apple, but companies that don't think long term will go down in time.
What if in a few years android and ios will have only 5% market share and windows phone will have 90% market share, like in the pc? Windows phone users will remember what Instagram did to them and the company will go down in flames.

Officially banned instagram from all my devices, this company can eat shit, at least Gary got my coin though for a now broken app, instagram-should be called googlegram

One more reason to switch back to iOS . I'm sick of bugs and numbered apps.

1) Heavy user on instagram. Used Instance earlier
2) Other Storage Issue
3) Duplicaiton of music and videos
4) Less no: of apps and games :'(

1) C ya, wouldn't wanna be ya
2) So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, good night
3) Hey, hey, hey, goodbye
4) Hasta la vista baby
'nuff said...

OK, we still have Hipstamatic/Oggl, but I hate their UI.  And there is no way to upload images already in your library/taken with the native camera app.  If I am trying to capture a shot quickly, by the time I launch Oggl, the moment is gone.  I wish they would at least update it so you can select images you have already taken.  The way to apply filters isn't as intuitive either.  I think most people just want a simple way to take a photo, apply a filter, and upload it.  Instance was perfect at that.

I don't use instagram, after this I never will, it is one thing to stop uploads going forward, another to delete previous photos already uploaded. We should all boycott Facebook. I always thought it was an arrogant company.

I say screw instagram, the community should show this much interest in more important apps.

The thing that makes this unfair is that we don't have an Instagram app. Give me an official one and then destroy everything. Thank you.

So what, they think any content from apps other than their officially developed one is "spam"? Instragram users will only be allowed to post content through their approved channels that they can regulate and enforce, and effectively "ghettoize" everyone else? Technology shouldn't feel like we're being socially ostracized here!

You give a lot of attention to Gary, but should follow Huyn as well. Being another player/developer in the race, from my perspective, you should throw some money at the screen when checking his Twitter.

Additionally, I just visited my profile for the first time without being logged in...and the only photos which loaded were the ones I uploaded from the official app. Photos which were added through Instance did not show up until I logged in. So, not only are they actively deleting uploaded photos, they've also flagged past photos and aren't displaying those to anyone who isn't logged in.

Instagram needs to be dealing with ACTUAL problems. Like the amount of porn/child porn photos. ACTUAL spam from IG users, who only make profiles to spam comments about other services. Etcetc

I don't get it! Why Instagram anw? If you want to share photos, there're many other apps can do so. And yes, it's lack of your friends, but if your friends don't use it, and so do you, then how can you expect it to be used by others? The fact is Instagram started with no friends of yours... Just use it and show your friends how is it better than Instagram! You chose wp8 in the beginning without friends too!

We customers should lead and demand the service companies or we leave it. Not to be leaded by them... What's wrong with it?