Communication

Instagram Messenger API - A detailed guide for businesses 

The most important information at a glance: Learn what the Instagram Messaging API is all about and how to use Instagram for customer communication.

Christina Wendt

Messaging expert

27 August, 2021

Conversational Commerce - All information at a glance

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Cautionary Language Concerning Forwad-Looking Statement

Cautionary Language Concerning Forwad-Looking Statement

Instagram is an important marketing and communication channel for businesses. Since June 2021, Instagram's Instagram Messaging API has been available to 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. Only 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 demonstrated by the following figures:

  • More than one billion active monthly Instagram users worldwide
  • Over 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 aged between 18 and 34, account for 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: via digital communication channels, consumers are accompanied throughout the entire customer journey, with the successful conclusion of the purchase as the goal. Instagram is not just for finding inspiration.

The platform is a place for consumers to engage directly with businesses. This makes Instagram an important and attractive channel for conversational commerce. The shopping functions can be used, for example, to link articles on pictures, which take customers directly to the online shop.

Types of Instagram accounts

Personal accounts are for private individuals without the goal of making money. 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 customers, respond 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.

Reading tip 📣

Here's a reading tip from us: Instagram for business: 10 tips for SMEs

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 companies the opportunity to make communication with customers even better and more personal. Via the API, WhatsApp 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.

Reading tip 📣

Here's a reading tip from us: What is the Instagram Messaging API?

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. However, this limit was lifted in August 2021. The only requirement for using the Messenger API is an Instagram Business Account. 

How do you get access to the Instagram API?

The messaging API is accessible via third-party providers. Via omnichannel communication platforms like Superchat, companies 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. 

Features & Benefits of the Instagram Messaging API

With the Instagram API, businesses have more options for communicating with customers. The Instagram API enables businesses to improve the customer journey. Chat building blocks or templates can be used to respond to questions even faster or to react to recurring questions. Common uses:

  • Sending and receiving text, media, stories, etc.
  • Retrieving the conversation history from the Instagram inbox
  • Respond to public comments with chat messages

Advantages of Instagram's messaging API

The biggest advantage is that companies no longer have to look after the channel separately. This is a significant relief for employees. Through the messaging API, Instagram is available via omnichannel communication platforms and can be operated together with other channels from a central platform. Several users answer customer queries together as a team. Further advantages of the Instagram Messenger API:

  • Keeping an eye on incoming customer messages and answering them efficiently
  • Improve customer loyalty and satisfaction 
  • Scaling customer support and communication

Instagram API along the Customer Journey

Chances are high that your target group is also active on Instagram. By using the Instagram Messaging API, you can engage with your customers at all levels of the customer journey: 

  • Awareness: First customer contact via Instagram
  • Consideration: answer questions about the product and the service
  • Purchase: Support with purchase decision and help with the ordering process
  • Care: Order management and support after successful purchase

Instagram's Messenger API, for example, enables automated conversations via different entry points. Customers can communicate with brands via their Instagram profile or Stories. Companies can now have face-to-face conversations with shoppers who leave questions and comments on brands' posts.

Reading tip 📣

Here's a reading tip from us: Instagram for businesses - tips for communication

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% DSGVO compliant and with multiple users
  • Webchat widget for your website
  • Create message templates and absence notes
  • Assign incoming messages 
  • Internally add notes to conversations
  • Manage and track online reviews

Would you like to use Superchat? Do you have any questions about our product? Contact us easily and without any obligations here via WhatsApp, or write us an email at hello@superchat.de.

Instagram Messenger & API FAQs

Is an Instagram Business Account free?

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The use of an Instagram business profile is free of charge. A private Instagram profile can be converted into a business account at no additional cost. There are costs for using the Instagram messaging API, which depend on the messaging platform provider.

How do you get the blue tick on Instagram?

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A blue tick on Instagram helps people recognise authentic accounts of public figures, celebrities and brands. It should be noted that a blue tick does not mean that the account has access to additional business tools. To get a blue tick on Instagram, the following requirements must be met:

  • The account must be public
  • The profile must represent a real person or brand
  • There may only be one account per brand (exception: international brands)
  • Profile picture must be available and the biography must be filled in
  • It is not allowed to refer to profiles in other social networks
  • The brand must be well-known, often sought after and represented in the media

Can several people use an Instagram account at the same time?

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Yes, theoretically, several people can use an Instagram account at the same time. There is currently no limit on Instagram.

Christina Wendt

Messaging Expert

Christina is a messaging and content expert at Superchat. Apart from communication and marketing topics, she knows the Berlin food scene inside out.

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