Instagram API & Data Access

Unofficial | 👉 Official Instagram Website:


Instagram made some changes to its API & app approval policies as of 2018, revoking access to existing apps and requiring a much stricter approval process to even access any amount of data from Instagram (even if public or from your own account).

Frequently Asked Questions

The taken_at field in posts is an epoch, you can convert it to a human readable timestamp with an epoch converter.

The code field in posts can be used to construct the URL to the Instagram post on the web by prepending to it.


While this was a win for user privacy, this change makes it even more difficult for developers to get started building something to prototype with (and then eventually go to Instagram for formal approval).

Unofficial APIs

A number of unofficial APIs and platforms still exist for accessing Instagram data, though Instagram is aggressively making these approaches more difficult to use with request signatures and certificate pinning on applications.

One such project that caught our eye is the Instagram Private API, which documents known endpoints used in their mobile apps.

Although these private API endpoints appear to require signatures to work properly (why a full-fledged Python library exists), with a little trickery it's possible to use these endpoints with your cookie from the Instagram Web App.

Getting Your Cookie

You'll need to use the Chrome Developer tools and need a valid Instagram login to get your cookie, but the process is very simple.

  1. Go to Instagram and log in if you haven't already
  2. Open up Chrome Developer Tools and go to the Application tab
  3. Under the storage header ont he left-hand menu, expand "Cookies" and click on the entry for ""
  4. Find the row with the Name equal to sessionid and double click the value to the right of it. This is your Session ID you'll need to use these endpoints

Automated Logging In

While not recommended for beginners, if you need an automated access to log in and retreive your session ID, please see the Instagram Login task, which will retreive your session ID via endpoint.