What makes social analytics such an exciting business is how quickly it evolves as brands, users, and the social platforms themselves discover new ways of using it. And with updates always on the horizon, NetBase only announces upcoming platform changes once they are confirmed and publicly announced by our data partners, as dates and terms often change.
On Oct 31, Instagram announced the release of #hashtag support in their new APIs, and we’ve thoroughly detailed everything you need to know here! We believe honesty and transparency are important to give our customers confidence that NetBase is the right partner for their social analytics needs.
Most importantly, while others are talking, we’ve been busy coding! Our agile development process releases new product every 3 weeks. As a result, NetBase will be the first analytics platform to support these new capabilities. We already support channel coverage on this new API, so we are very familiar with what it takes to get this working for our users. And when Instagram makes the switch on December 11th, our customers will be covered, with no gaps in their Instagram listening!
Instagram Hashtag Search Will Be Limited – But More Tailored to Businesses
As with all things new, there are some changes. The new Hashtag Search feature will “[allow] businesses to find public photos and videos that have been tagged with a #hashtag relevant to their Business Account.”
This will be very similar data to what our customers got with the old Instagram API,. There are some restrictions, but plenty of good news. Here’s what the old vs. new comparison looks like with regard to type of data:
There are some Instagram-imposed restrictions, but there’s still plenty of data to work with. An Instagram business profile can track 30 unique hashtags concurrently. All or some hashtags can be changed every 7 days to allow for tracking new campaigns and any emerging issues.
This hashtag tracking applies to the business profile – not authorized users associated with the business – i.e., this number does not scale with more users. We know this could present a challenge for multi-product companies, but this is not a NetBase limitation, it’s an Instagram one.
As always, we are working to evolve alongside Instagram, and ensure our customers have everything they need – and quickly – to make smart business decisions.
Instagram Good News, Bad News
New history limitations mean that 24 hours is the maximum ability to go back, but we support 27 months of history for data downloaded for channels. This is a really good thing.
Also, really good news is that we can update data downloaded for channels for 48 hours – not including hashtag posts, which provide engagement metrics for 24 hours only. And we may be able to get some updated metrics by revisiting again within 12-24 hours.
More than Hashtags – Something to Look Forward to!
And though API privacy updates mean we get less meta-data on hashtags, we get more for channels.
This includes new functionality enabling you to “identify public captions, comments, and media in which your Business Account alias has been tagged or @mentioned.”
The Bigger Picture
Social analytics has always been about a comprehensive view, and these changes illustrate one reason that’s so. As consumers demand greater privacy protections, social networks must find the balance between giving their users what they want, and maintaining access for brands – who are also part of their audience, and revenue stream.
Our job is to work with the APIs as given – as there is no exclusive or special access to any one developer or vendor. All vendors have access to the same APIs, same data, and same data delivery and timing. But, with NetBase’s agile development process we have a first-mover advantage and can deliver new products extremely quickly.
And because we are always keeping our eye on the social analytics tools landscape, and always evolving and innovating, we look forward to sharing new tools to smooth the transition for brands as the Instagram update goes into effect. When they’re ready, you’ll be the first to know.
In the meantime, keep using social analytics and sentiment analysis to understand as much as you can about your audience everywhere – both online and off. As long as you keep doing that, small bumps in the road will never take you off course.
Want to learn more about how our social analytics tools keep pace with changing technology? Reach out for a personalized demo!