Facebook-owned Instagram has with no warning reduced the amount of data third party apps can pull from its API.
TechCrunch reports that apps were previously able to make 5,000 API calls per hour (the number of times the app could connect with Instagram to send or receive data). This has now been reduced to just 200.
Many of the apps affected are to do with follower and audience analysis.
Instagram has not yet commented on the changes and the pages on its site that document developer API limits have been taken offline. The service has, however, confirmed that it has followed in the footsteps of its owner and stopped accepting new app submissions.
It has previously indicated that it intends to shut down its current API by 2020 and is already shifting developers onto a more restrictive version of the platform.
Developers are expressing anger at Instagram’s failure to issue any warnings about the change as doing so may have enabled them to alter their apps ahead of time to accommodate for the change. Many are now left with non-functioning apps, and large numbers of unhappy customers as a result.
There are now concerns that fellow Facebook subsidiary WhatsApp may also invoke sudden changes.
The presumption is that the decision was made in line with Facebook’s efforts to improve data security following the Cambridge Analytica controversy. Just last week Facebook announced the suspension of ties with a number of third party data companies.