Instagram post-data from public accounts available to researchers and CSOs via CrowdTangle.
The process of gaining timely data access for research is not clear, although Facebook (owner of Instagram) announced criteria and steps would be announced in early 2019. For now, we recommend getting in touch with real humans at Facebook within your own country. In our experience, this process can take plus or minus 3 months.
2. Political ad data
Instagram data related to political/issue Ads is available via:
For Ad Library, no programming skills are needed and you can conduct a simple search to see real political advertisements based on your search. This resource is available to anyone but limited to only a handful of countries.
Ad Transparency Tool
American Samoa, Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, French Guiana, Germany, Greece, Guadeloupe, Guam, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Martinique, Mayotte, Netherlands, Northern Mariana Islands, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Reunion, Romania, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, United States Minor Outlying Islands, US Virgin Islands
Programming is needed for the Ad Library API, but you will be able to perform more advanced searches. To access the Ad Library API, you will need to: (a) confirm your identity (b) create a developer account and (c) add a new app.
What data is available?
Through CrowdTangle, you gain access to public Instagram accounts. This does not include posts or comments from private users or deleted posts (e.g. deleted disinformation). Through CrowdTangle you have bird’s eye view across many accounts and will need to filter through a sea of information
First, you can search for a collection of posts by account names or keywords. For each post you receive the following data and more:
type (i.e. photo or videos)
description (text of post)
number of reactions, comments, shares and video views
overperformance score (indicator for virality - how much worse or better a post is doing relative to the page average after 1 hour)
See CrowdTangle’s codebook for more information and additional metrics available.
2. Ad Library
Through the Facebook Ad Library you can search for Instagram political ads by keyword or advertiser and filter further based on platform, date ranges and location, potential reach and disclaimer. You are able to see the actual advertisement, expenditure, and reach (impressions, gender of user).
Instagram ads are include included in the Ad Library Report, which only includes Facebook ads. However, with the Ad Library API you can get aggregate data related to Instagram political ads.
If you have issues gaining access to CrowdTangle, there are a number of paid alternatives, which might be expensive for small CSOs trying to monitor social media.