Instagram Gives Users More Control Over Third-Party App Permissions

When privacy is a concern, Facebook and its properties are probably the first to look for.

After making it easier for users to spot phishing scams, Instagram is tightening its grip over third-parties. Here, the Facebook-owned -owned photo-sharing social network allows users to have more control over how online services can gather their data from Instagram.

This is by adding a feature that allows individuals to “manage all of the third-party services they connect to their Instagram account.”

In addition, Instagram is also introducing an authorization screen that asks for users' explicit consent before sharing their data with a specific third-party app.

These two features are rolling out slowly to all users.

According to Instagram on its blog post:

It’s essential that we protect the data people share with us. We also want to give people more control over the data they share with other apps and services. So today, we’re introducing new in-app features to help you better control the data you share with third-parties through Instagram."

"Third-party apps and websites often provide an option to 'Import photos from Instagram' or to 'Connect/Link to Instagram'. Some examples include apps that allow you to easily print your Instagram photos or help you build a website. After connecting your account to a third-party service, you may grant them access to some of your profile information, such as your username and photos. Starting today, we’re making it easier for people to manage all of the third-party services they connect to their Instagram account. "

The do this, users can head to 'Settings' in the Instagram app, to then tap on 'Security', and then 'Apps and Websites'.

From there, users will see an option to remove any third-party services they no longer want connected to their Instagram account. Once a third-party service is removed, it will no longer have access to new data on that user account.

Instagram user control for third-party services
Instagram is giving more control for users over how third-parties can access their data on Instagram

Twitter has this feature for long, and Instagram follows suit.

This is because third-party app access has been a serious privacy issue in the aftermath of Facebook - Cambridge Analytica scandal. That incident forced Facebook to suspend at least "tens of thousands" of apps as part of its ongoing "App Developer Investigation" into improper data use.


Google has also taken its part, by conducting a "root-and-branch review" of third-party developer access to user data across its array of services. They include Chrome, Gmail, Drive, and other services after Google found security flaw that led to the death of Google+.

Previously, Instagram has been restricting developer access to its API, by reducing the number of API calls from 5,000 to 200 calls per user per hour.

With the update, Instagram is ending the option to register third-party clients using the API, in favor of Instagram Basic Display API.

The move should help Instagram prevent data leaks, either intentionally or unintentionally by users.

Instagram may experience some rough roads ahead, given that it becomes a bit hostile to third-party developers. But nevertheless, it's certainly a good move from the company.