Instagram is an important marketing and communication channel for businesses. Since June 2021, Instagram's Instagram Messaging API has been available to external developers. This makes customer communication via Instagram Direct Messages even more professional and provides businesses with new possibilities.
What is the Instagram API? How do you get access? Why should businesses use Instagram via the API? Here you will find the most important information about Instagram's messaging API.
The most important facts about Instagram
Instagram is a popular social network for sharing photos and videos. The app was developed in 2010 by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. Just two years later, the company was bought by Facebook for around one billion dollars. Over the years, the social network has continued to evolve and user numbers are also steadily increasing. The importance of Instagram is proven by the following figures:
- More than one billion active monthly Instagram users worldwide.
- More than 500 million people worldwide use Instagram Stories every day
- At least 200 million businesses use Instagram as a marketing channel
The user figures make it clear that Instagram is an important marketing and communication channel for a large number of companies. There is a good chance that their own target group is also active on Instagram. Generation Y and Z, i.e. consumers between the ages of 18 and 34, make up more than 60% of Instagram users.
Instagram plays one of the main roles in the topic of conversational commerce. Conversational commerce bridges the gap between customer support and sales: through digital communication channels, consumers are accompanied throughout the entire customer journey, with the successful completion of the purchase as the goal. Instagram is not just for finding inspiration.
The platform is a place for consumers to get in touch directly with businesses. This makes Instagram an important and attractive channel for conversational commerce. Via the shopping functions, for example, articles can be linked to pictures, which take customers directly to the online shop.
Types of Instagram accounts
Personal accounts are for individuals, without the goal of making money from them. There are two types of accounts on Instagram - personal and professional. Professional accounts are divided into business and creator profiles.
What is Instagram Business?
Instagram Business is a solution for businesses and has existed since 2014. The Instagram Business account is free and offers more functions than a private Instagram profile. This includes a professional dashboard that provides information about the behaviour of followers and users. In addition, Instagram offers functions for placing paid advertisements or integrating a shop.
Should businesses use Instagram?
With the potential to reach so many people, Instagram is a valuable platform to get to know your target audience, cater to their needs and connect with them.
People are spending more and more time online and on social networks. To stay relevant, businesses need to be present on the channels used by their target audience. With the large and diverse number of users, chances are good that your target group is also active on Instagram.
The advantage of an Instagram business is not only the number of people you can reach. Business profiles offer access to a range of professional tools and features that are not available to private accounts.
How do I get an Instagram Business Account?
An Instagram Business Account is free and can be set up via the profile settings. Via the settings, a private Instagram account can be converted into a business profile with just a few clicks. There, businesses have the option to select the company's industry and add further information such as contact details.
What is the Instagram API?
The Instagram API for messaging has been open to the public since June 2021. It gives businesses the opportunity to make communication with customers even better and more personal.
Via the API, Instagram can be integrated into messaging platforms such as Superchat. So you don't have to open the Instagram app to reply to messages. Companies can manage Instagram together with other communication channels via a central platform.
Who can use the Messaging Instagram API?
All businesses can use the Messenger API for Instagram. Initially, the Instagram API could only be used for accounts between 10,000 and 100,000 followers. This limit was lifted in August 2021. The only requirement for using the Messenger API is an Instagram Business account.
How do I get access to the Instagram API?
The messaging API is accessible via third-party providers. Via omnichannel communication platforms such as Superchat, companies can get access to the Instagram API. The advantage is that you can bundle several communication channels in one place. In addition to Instagram, other messengers, such as WhatsApp Business or Facebook Messenger, can be managed from one platform.
Functions & advantages of the Instagram Messaging API
With the Instagram API, businesses have further options for communicating with customers. The Instagram API enables companies to improve the customer journey.
Chat building blocks or templates can be used to answer questions even faster or to respond to recurring questions. Common uses:
- Sending and receiving text, media, stories, etc.
- Retrieving conversation history from the Instagram inbox.
- Responding to public comments with chat messages
Advantages of Instagram's messaging API
The biggest advantage is that businesses no longer have to manage the channel separately. This is a significant relief for employees. Through the messaging API, Instagram is available across omnichannel communication platforms and can be used together with other channels from a central platform. Several users answer customer enquiries together as a team. Other benefits of the Instagram Messenger API:
- Keep an eye on incoming customer messages and answer them efficiently.
- Improve customer loyalty and satisfaction
- Scale customer support and communication
Instagram API along the customer journey
Chances are high that your target audience is also active on Instagram. By using the Instagram Messaging API, you can engage with your clientele at all levels of the Customer Journey:
- Awareness: First customer contact via Instagram
- Consideration: Answer questions about the product and service
- Purchase: Support with the purchase decision and help with the ordering process
- Care: Order management and support after a successful purchase
The Instagram API enables conversations via different entry points. On the one hand, customers can get in touch with brands via their Instagram profile or Stories. On the other hand, companies can now have personal conversations with customers who have left questions and comments about a particular post.
Instagram Messenger API with Superchat
Take your online presence to the next level and use the Instagram API with Superchat. Superchat's messaging platform lets you bundle the most important communication channels in one place: Instagram, WhatsApp Business, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Webchat, Email and SMS.
All functions of Superchat at a glance
- All communication channels in one inbox
- WhatsApp Business 100% GDPR compliant and with multiple users
- Webchat widget for your website
- Create message templates and out-of-office notes
- Assign incoming messages
- Internally add notes to conversations
- Manage and track online reviews