Vira Larionova
Table of Content

Instagram is one of the most popular social networks, which provides a wide range of opportunities for various brands. The main thing is to collect data correctly and conduct ongoing analysis. Moreover, the network itself provides a tool to collect data, yet there are some aspects to keep in mind.

In this article, we will talk about the capabilities of Instagram Graph API and alternative solutions.

What Is Instagram Graph API?

Internal social media tools include many useful features, but their capabilities are still limited. And one of the most indispensable helpers for parsing is the Application Programming Interface.

Through the use of Instagram's open API, users get a lot of features to collect and analyze data to build an effective marketing strategy. It’s possible to study the Instagram Graph API tutorial and practice, but on the condition that you have programming skills, or you work in the field of social media listening.

Although the Graph API is much more limited than the previous version, it gives developers some options (for instance, to receive and publish data). To access the collected information, you will need a business account or login details for the creator's account.

However, this product still allows you to create applications that interact with Instagram, and can also be used to:

  • receive and post media;
  • manage and respond to comments;
  • determine media where other users have mentioned a customer's brand;
  • search for tags;
  • obtain metadata and key metrics about other companies and users.

Below, we will consider how exactly you can get certain data using the GraphQL API.

Instagram GraphQL API Tutorial: Basics, Background, Components, Features

Instagram GraphQL is a syntax that describes how to query data and is basically used by SMM specialists to download the information they were looking for and collecting. With its help, you can specify what data to accumulate, aggregate, and analyze using the type system. But before considering the Instagram API Graph, let's pay attention to the historical base.

SQL is a declarative programming language that is used to create, modify, and manipulate data in databases. This language supports four basic query operators: SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE. Using SQL, you can ask the database for exactly what is needed. For example, when it is necessary to “get” all users named Maria from the database, this can be done using the query: SELECT * FROM USERS WHERE FirstName = “Maria”.

There are several ways to solve this problem using REST:

  1. Define an endpoint on the server that will serve users from the database named Maria.
  2. Define a common endpoint to get all users and filter the resulting list on the client side.

Instagram GraphQL API combines the power of SQL and REST on the client side. This product takes ideas developed for manipulating data in a database and uses them on the web. Therefore, with a single GraphQL query, you can get all the necessary data at once.

Instagram GraphQL Query

With these commands, Facebook Graph API Instagram gets the required data from the server. The Query request type in GraphQL is analogous to GET in REST. Queries are strings that are sent in the body of an HTTP POST request. Please note that all types of requests in GraphQL are sent via POST.

Parts of detailed Query in Instagram GraphQL API

Query describes the data to be retrieved from the server. For example, using the code below, you can get the fname and age of all users in the database.


query {
  users {
In response to this request, the server sends data in JSON format. The structure of the response corresponds to the structure of the request.
data : {
  users [
      "fname": "Joe",
      "age": 23
      "fname": "Betty",
      "age": 29

Successful operations return JSON with the key “data” and with the key “error”, while unsuccessful ones return JSON with the key and an error message. This makes it convenient to handle errors on the client side.

*We kindly request that you adhere to user privacy by extracting data solely from publicly accessible sources, aligning with GDPR guidelines. It is important to remember to follow legal standards concerning personal data protection.

Instagram GraphQL Schema

Working with the Facebook Instagram Graph API server always starts with Schema development. It consists of two interrelated objects: TypeDefs and Resolvers. In order for the server to work with all GraphQL types, they need to be defined. The typeDef defines the list of types that are available in the project. The second object was discussed above.

After defining the types, you need to add their logic. This is necessary so that the server knows how to respond to client requests. This task is solved using the Resolvers described earlier.

GraphQL example

In case you would also like to use Facebook API, get an Instagram account first. 

The GraphQL Instagram API provides a level of access not available to regular Instagram users. There are another ways to choose — some alternative APIs.

Instagram Graph API Alternative Tutorial: Data to Obtain + Instructions

Now, knowing what GraphQL Instagram API offers and how it works, let's look at alternative solutions, outlining the types of data you can usually access and step-by-step instructions on how to get it.

Data to Obtain

Alternative APIs allow you to get valuable data (incl. demographics and post engagement) for influencer marketing with the help of simple queries. With some of such APIs, you can get a lot of public data from profiles, pages, posts, and comments:

Scrape Instagram Profiles
  1. Scrape Instagram Profiles — obtaining information based on a database of IDs or usernames: number of followers and followings, content and number of posts, username and ID, biographical data, photos, gender, and age. When integrating alternative social media APIs, it's crucial to rigorously adhere to legal standards concerning personal data protection. It is of the utmost importance to uphold user privacy by extracting only public data in alignment with GDPR guidelines.
  2. Instagram Search for profiles and posts by hashtags or locations. Enter a list of all hashtags or location IDs in the query, and you will receive a list of users or posts that meet the specified criteria. The received data can be immediately transferred in JSON form for analysis, or you can configure sorting by date (publication period), text or language.
  3. Scrape Instagram Post to download information about posts. It can be a single post, and you can get data by its ID, or it can be a post found by a tag or owned by a specific user. You can also get likes and reactions to posts. This feature allows analysis based on post content, user IDs, geolocations, engagement data, and URLs of attachments. 
  4. Comments and Replies can also be collected by alternative  APIs, that will give you information about the owner. This allows you to analyze how the public reacts to the post, as well as analyze the audience.

Step-by-Step Instruction

To fetch Instagram data, you will need to define the type of data in which you’re interested in and then to follow the next algorithm.

Step 1. Create Request

Create a POST request to start the update process. POST request enables you to receive updated data directly from the social network. At this stage, you call upon the social network with your request with some specific parameters to narrow the results.

Step 2. Get Status

The next step is to make a GET request to get the updated status of your POST request.

  • The field data.status will display the current update status:some text
    • created – task in line
    • pending – update coming
    • finished – successfully completed
    • fail – completed with an error
    • canceled – task canceled by user
    • unknown – if the update did not start
  • Repeat this step until the update is complete.

Step 3. Get Data

Create a GET request to get public data. API response usually contains such fields as:

  • data – contains the data that the request should return. May be empty.
  • error – contains an error code in the field code and error description in the field.
  • message. May be empty if there is no error.
  • status – ok, if the request is ok, fail – if any error occurred.

Typically, such API works primarily with endpoints, which are SOAP or multiple REST-based web service URLs to access much of Instagram's overall functionality:

  • “Instagram Profile” allows you to collect data on public profiles by ID or username. View its posts, stories, followers and followings, suggested profiles. 
  • Retrieve lists of followers.
  • “Instagram Profile search” allows you to search for public profiles using keywords such as name and surname and get basic information of these profiles.
  • “Instagram location search” get Instagram posts searching by internal Instagram ID of the target location.
  • “Instagram Hashtag search” allows you to search for public posts, namely for posts with a specific hashtag.
  • “Instagram Profile” allows you to collect data on public posts by ID. Collects medias, URL of photo or video, comments, likes, and tags.

An example of the API Query

Using the POST and GET queries of the API, you get the necessary public data from the web version of Instagram, for example, the information that can be requested by a hashtag. Please note that in order to receive data or update previously received data, you need to send a POST request.

The request reflects the data that will be requested from the web version of Instagram. For example, it can be “Most recent posts” by the tag “bitcoins”.

To collect the public data presented on the image in the web version, you first need to send a POST request and then a GET request with the parameters that correspond to the structure of a POST request:

  1. You can get the tag's avatar and the total number of posts by the hashtag;
  2. You can get the list of posts by hashtag, as specified in the POST query, by a GET query in JSON format.

All the results can be provided in JSON format. 

Alternative or Facebook Graph API: Get Instagram Insights

As follows from the information above, such APIs allow you to get the following:

  • Data:
    • Metadata and metrics for other business accounts (for example, the number of subscribers and media objects);
    • Information about media objects of a certain business profile (number of comments or likes);
    • Public photos and videos that have been tagged with the hashtag you are interested in;
    • Reach, views and various actions in relation to a particular user/community;
    • Titles, comments, and media objects in which the profile you are interested in has been tagged or @mentioned.
  • Capabilities:
    • Get an idea about the business you are studying.
    • Extract data from specific hashtags.
    • Track trends.
    • Keep abreast of the latest news.
    • Create advertising campaigns.
    • Add photos from Instagram to the site.
    • Track the performance of an event or campaign.
    • Watch for mentions of a brand or a specific account.

Remember that for Instagram Graph API in order for a third party to collect data, it is needed to provide login information under your account.

Some alternative products provide the same functionality as the GraphQL Instagram API. Yet, in addition, some alternative solutions can provide you with the possibility to adjust the API to the requirements and more flexible pricing models.

Data365 API Tutorial: Basics, Background, Features

Here is one more option to keep in mind – Data365 Social Media API. Let’s take a closer look at it.

What Is the Data365 API?

Data365's Application programming interface is designed specifically for social media listening product developers and social network analytics companies. Data365 API allows you to get publicly available data from popular social networks:

  • receive data about public posts, including content, media, likes etc.,
  • collect post’s comments,
  • search for hashtags and locations to determine the post where it was mentioned,
  • obtain data about public profiles,
  • collect rough data that can be used as key metrics for your future analytics.

For example, using the API, you can track tagged posts and collect public data about users or posts that contain a specific hashtag or geolocation. In other words, if you work in the field of social media listening, monitor brands, and influencers, or are involved in media intelligence, Data365's API can be more than just helpful.

Data365 APIs

Thanks to the free trial for two weeks (14 days), you can make sure if this solution fits you and then choose the most suitable pricing plan: basic, standard, or premium. Whatever the service package used, you will have access to all the data. In addition, even with a free trial period, Data365 provides live technical support.

So get in touch to us to learn how the solutions could be suitable for your needs.

Data365 Basics

Data365 API is based both on REST syntax and Graph so that you can migrate from GraphQL to Data365 API faster. The REST approach has some differences from Graph syntax, which has both its advantages and disadvantages.

Using REST API queries you will be able to collect only that type of data which is relevant and not to get all in one.

To obtain public data, first, specify the type of information you need. Then, reach out to us to find out how our solution can be useful for your project.

Data365 Main Features and Specific Functionality

Data365 provides a wide range of functionality for its users, which includes both standard queries and data, and unique features:

  • You can sort the post you want to get by date. This API implements the most efficient search by specific hashtags and location.
  • You can fetch publically available carousel images for posts.
  • You can use monitoring tasks. Tasks created in our product can be either “one-time”, created for specific tasks, or automatically updated. The second method allows you to monitor the same type of data in accordance with the prescribed conditions for a specified time.
  • The request can be customized to suit your need, for example, to set up the correct request or add new features that will make your monitoring incomplete.

So that the Data365 Social Media API allows you to gather public data of posts that can be helpful to measure the engagement in brand discussions. Using this public information, collected both manually (for one-time tasks) and automatically according to a pre-configured algorithm (for standard operations), developers and SMM specialists can identify influencers and monitor the effectiveness of the customer's advertising campaign.

Besides that, Data365 offers the following unique benefits: 

  • 24/7 technical support;
  • A free trial period to try all the functionality;
  • Possibility to customize the features.

This API solution uses a mentions/credits system that includes a fair billable system so you only pay for the data received. There is an endpoint that allows you to check how many mentions (credits) you have used in a certain period of time. It should be separately mentioned that you can always monitor your API usage stats. 


In this article, we reviewed the main functions and advantages of the Instagram Graph API and alternative APIs. Such products allow you to collect all the valuable data to improve your marketing efforts, better understand your target audience, track trends, and many more. It’s up to you to choose the one that suits you best, yet, making the decision, consider certain limitations of the Instagram Graph API:

  • A need to disclose private data;
  • Limits about the data allowed to scrape;
  • The necessity of creating a business account, etc.

In its turn, there are alternative APIs that can do the same work for you, yet all that for a fair price. But be careful and remember that you should not scrape personal data unless you have a legitimate reason to do so. 

If you’re looking for efficient solutions for extracting data, you can get more details about Data365 API by leaving a request and managers will provide you with all the needed information.

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