by Cesare Rocchi

Private means Private for Everybody

by Cesare Rocchi

Tags: API policies

A 17-year-old student builds an app on top of the Instagram API. Everything would have been fine if the app didn’t include the possibility to upload pictures. According to this article on arstechnica the rationale behind the app was:

"There are 15 Instagram apps on the App Store, and none of them have upload capability."

On the App Store there’s a gazillion of iOS apps based on the Instagram API and none of them (except the official one) has upload capabilities. Before engaging in the development, I’d have probably asked myself why. Instagram has been around for five years and nobody thought of building an app that features upload? Odd, very odd. In spite of what the EFF says, rules are pretty clear:

At this time, uploading via the API is not possible.

Instagram API Documentation source

I think there’s no need to consult lawyers.

I am not a fan of Instagram. As a matter of fact I deleted my account the day after it was bought by Facebook. But rules are rules, even if you don’t like them, even when you need money to pay for the college.

I am building a service myself, and I will probably spend a good amount of time to clearly write in the documentation what you can and you can’t do with the API. It’s better to be clear since the beginning.