• Jenna Gleespen

Third party Instagram apps: how your engagement and privacy may be at stake

Not all apps are created equal. Third party apps, or apps not created and endorsed by Instagram itself, have been a touchy subject to some. Until recently third party apps could access your data you share with Instagram. Now, Instagram is giving users more control over what is shared.


Examples of popular third party apps are Planoly, Preview, Later and Hootsuite. These type of apps can make managing your social media easier, especially if you are using it for business. By being able to plan and schedule posts, users are able to better utilise their social media platforms to engage and draw in business.

When using these apps it is important to understand that without changing some settings, your information may be shared with the downloaded software. This however is an easy fix. On your mobile device simply:


  • Go to your profile by clicking the bottom right corner icon.

  • Then tap the three stripe icon on the top right and choose Settings.

  • Choose Security and then Apps and Websites.


Again, if you see any app that shouldn't be there you can just click Revoke Access. Instagram has taken into account users’ privacy concerns by allowing these settings to be changed. In the past there was no such option, which caused confusion and aggravation for many Instagrammers.


Another thing that is important to understand is that Instagram does not allow all third party apps. If you are using a third party app that is not endorsed or allowed by Instagram then you may run into some trouble. Many users have reported shadow blocking, or Instagram’s attempt at blocking users who do not comply with their terms. As some third party apps are not allowed per user terms and guidelines, some users using unauthorised apps to manipulate their Instagram feed may find that their engagement has gone down drastically. The user is not notified of the shadow ban by Instagram, and still will have access to their account as well as be able to post, but others will not be able to see their content. However, as Instagram is constantly changing its algorithms, loss of engagement does not always point to a shadow ban.


To be certain you are not using an unauthorised app, check the list below of all approved third party applications. They are:

  • Iconosquare – Instagram Apps for Business.

  • Buffer

  • Later

  • Planoly

  • Hootsuite

  • Sprout Social

  • Simply Measured (Acquired By Sprout Social)

If you are using an app not on the list, it is best to stop using the app so that you can comply with Instagram guidelines. Using only approved and regulated apps will not only help you avoid a Shadowban, but will help to protect your privacy as well.


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