DocumentationBasic API vs Graph API

Basic API vs Graph API

Behold allows you to connect to Instagram accounts with either the Basic Display API or the Instagram Graph API. On this page we'll explain the differences between them, when to use one or the other, and how to connect to them.

Why are there two different APIs?

Over the past few years Meta has made significant changes to the Instagram API, adding a complex app review process and usage limits, among other things.

These updates have made accessing an Instagram user's posts much more difficult, which was the primary impetus for creating Behold.

One of these changes is that there are now two different official ways to access an Instagram user's posts: the Basic Display API and the Instagram Graph API.

What are the differences between the two?

To start, the Basic API never requires reauthorization. Actually it does, but we are able to automate it for you behind the scenes.

Graph API connections need to be manually reauthorized every three months. Behold will send you an email one week before the reauthorization is due with an easy re-auth link.

So why use the Graph API? The reason is that it provides two benefits that may be important depending on your project:

  1. Graph API feeds have access to two additional fields: commentsCount and likeCount
  2. A Graph API connection is required to create Hashtag Feeds

If neither of those things are required for your purposes, we strongly recommend using the Basic API.

Connecting to the Basic Display API

Connecting to the Basic API is very simple:

  1. First make sure you are logged-in to the Instagram account you want to access. Once this is done, click on the green “+ Add Account” button in the Behold dashboard.
  2. You will see an option to choose either the “Basic API” or “Graph API”. Select the Basic API.
  3. After being redirected to Instagram, click “allow”.
  4. You should then see a loading screen, followed by your dashboard with a new account added.

Connecting to the Graph API

Rather than connect directly with Instagram, the Graph API connects with a Facebook user that has admin privileges for a Facebook page with a connected Creator or Business Instagram account.

Yeesh that was a long sentence, let's break it down:

  1. To start you need a creator or business Instagram account
  2. Then you need to connect that Instagram account to a Facebook page

Once those two things are done, you can connect to Behold:

  1. Make sure you're logged into the correct Facebook account and click on the green “+ Add Account” button in the Behold dashboard.
  2. You will be asked to choose between APIs. Select Graph API.
  3. After being redirected to Facebook, click on "Continue as [YOUR USERNAME]"
  4. You will be shown a list of Instagram accounts connected to your pages. Select the accounts you want to connect to Behold.
  5. You will see a list of your Facebook pages. Make sure you select the pages that your Instagram accounts are connected to. If you're not certain, just select all of them.
  6. You will be asked to approve three sets of permissions. All three must be allowed for Behold to function.
  7. Click "done", and then "OK"
  8. That's it! After a brief loading screen, your connected Facebook account should appear on your dashboard, with a list of associated Instagram accounts below it.

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