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About the Instagram API

The Instagram API allows developers easy access to any of the images found on Instagram programmatically. Unfortunately for now the API remains read only, therefore there is no way to upload images to Instagram without using the official Android or iOS app.

But being read-only doesn’t mean you can’t do a lot of really cool stuff with Instagram API. For example, you can make a request to pull all Instagram photos taken within a certain geographic region. Making it possible to see who has uploaded photos from your favorite local bar or bar half way around the world. Or you can make a request to pull all Instagram photos tagged with the word “cat”and build a real-time feed of the thousands of cats that are uploaded to Instagram every second.


You can also make user specific requests, such as pulling a list of all of the Instagram users that Kevin Durant of Oklahoma City Thunder (username: trey5) follows. However to make a user specific request you must use Instagram’s numeric ID rather than their username.

By putting “trey5” into the lookup tool above, you can see that Kevin Durant’s Instagram user ID is 18808100. With that numeric ID in hand we can use the following API request to pull all the people followed by Kevin Durant.

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