The following article refers to changes made on December 5th 2018.
Instagram are cutting off access to certain parts of their API with regards to hashtags on the 11th December. You’ll still be able to search for and follow hashtags on Iconosquare, but there are going to be some changes! As per Instagram’s API documentation, Instagram Business users using a third-party tool can only ‘query’ a maximum of 30 unique hashtags within a rolling 7-day period. Let’s break that down into more understandable chunks:
What’s a query?
In the context of your Iconosquare account, a query refers to:
- Adding & following a hashtag in the My Feeds section
- Adding & following a hashtag in the Hashtag Tracker
- Searching for a hashtag in the Search bar or Advanced Media Search
Each of the above accounts for one hashtag query.
What do you mean by ‘30 unique hashtags within a rolling 7 day period’?
You can make 30 (total) of the above queries on unique hashtags within each rolling 7-day period. Unique means that only different hashtags will count as an additional query. This means that if you add the hashtag #catsofinstagram to your Hashtag Tracker, and then go and search for it in the Advanced Media Search, this will only count as one query within your rolling 7-day period. You can search for the hashtag #catsofinstagram as many times as you like, with different filters, over a period of 7 days and it will only count as one query, meaning you have 29 different hashtag queries left to play with.
In other words: Once you query a hashtag, it will count against the 30-hashtag limit for 7 days. Subsequent queries on the same hashtag within this time frame will not count against your limit, and will not reset its initial query 7 day timer. You'll be able to see how many hashtag queries you have left here: https://pro.iconosquare.com/hashtagsummary
Here is the full list of limitations, directly from Facebook for Developers (read more):
How will it affect my favourite features on Iconosquare?
- You will be able to track a maximum of 25 hashtags per social profile. So if you are on a PRO plan, you will be able to purchase an additional 22 hashtags; if you are on the ADVANCED plan you will be able to purchase an additional 20.
- The graphs Global Growth and Geolocation on the Hashtag Tracking pages & Overview will be removed.
- Each hashtag you track on the Hashtag Tracker accounts for one of your queries. So if you’re tracking 3 hashtags on one of your social profiles, you will have 27 left for those 7 days, and each rolling 7 days as long as you track them.
- Hashtag Tracking in Feeds will be deactivated, so all the hashtags you currently track in Feeds will be removed.
- You’ll now only be able to add Users to your regular Feeds, but you’ll be able to add up to 20 of those hashtags to the new single Hashtag Feed. You’ll see a prompt asking you to do this, and they’ll be auto-saved for you to select from! (The Hashtag Feed will not be counted towards your allowance of custom Feeds.)
- Hashtag Feeds will only display media which have been posted within the last 24 hours of you opening the Feed (the Feed will refresh itself every time it's newly accessed).
Advanced Media Search
- You’ll be able to search for a maximum of 25 unique hashtags on Advanced Media Search. If you are tracking hashtags in the Hashtag Tracker/My Feeds, you’ll be able to search 25 minus the number of tracked hashtags you have.
- Advanced Media Search will only display media which have been posted within the last 24 hours of your search.
- Advanced Media Search will only display as available if you still have available slots left to search for a hashtag within any 7 day period, and will disappear when you’ve reached your maximum number searches
- Hot tip! - If you are doing a search with two or more hashtags and you have used one of those hashtags in the last 7 day period, make sure you put this one first. The hashtags that come after will not be counted as part of your allowance. Yay! (View what you've already used here: https://pro.iconosquare.com/hashtagsummary)
Hashtags followed within Iconosquare through either Tracking, Feeds and Advanced Media Search will all have a countdown timer of 7 days so you can clearly see if they can follow or search for a new Hashtag.
Hashtag Suggestions Tool
- The Hashtag Suggestions tool will sadly be removed as more than 30 results are displayed for a search, which would immediately use up all of your hashtag spots for that 7 day period.
Hashtag feed on the Widget
- The hashtag feed on the Widget will be removed.
- When using global search (mainly in the media viewer), the highlighted hashtags will redirect you to Instagram
- Media that displays under any form of hashtag search will not include any identifiable information about the user who posted it.
- You won’t be able to comment on media found through a hashtag search
- Some hashtags are now unable to be searched if they include UNICODE encoding - basically, if they include emojis or other special characters. If you try to search for a hashtag that includes UNICODE you will get an error message.