I recently had to re-register my blog with my Instagram account and found I had no memory of doing it before, the reason is it’s such a painful process I had subconsciously vanquished it from my brain to end the nightmares. Since I’ve had to do it again, I figure I’d try and create a nice simple step by step set of instructions for the process below.
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Step 1: Register a New Client
- Go the Instagram developer website at http://instagram.com/developer/authentication/
- Complete the form, here’s a break down of what each field is:
- Application Name: An arbitrary descriptive name for your App (e.g. ‘My Blog’ or ‘Bobs App’)
- Description: A description of your app or service (e.g. ‘My Personal Blog Website’ or ‘Acme Company Booking App’)
- Website: This is the website url for your App or Service including the protocol (the ‘http://’) at the beginning (e.g. ‘http://bobmckay.com’).
- OAuth redirect_url: This <sarcasm>helpfully labelled field is another website url, it is simply the address to which users will be redirected after they are asked by Instagram to confirm or deny access to the account.
- You are now presented with a Client ID and the Redirect URL – copy and paste these somewhere (or leave the browser window open) as we need them for the next step.
Step 2: Authorize your App/Client
Copy the URL in the grey box below and replace the bits in UPPERCASE with the information you noted earlier on (Client ID and Redirect URL):
Paste the updated URL in to your favourite browser and you will be taken to a page on Instragram that says something like, “Hello [Your Name], [Application Name] is requesting to do the following” followed by a list of permissions – click Authorize to enable and retrieve your token.
Do NOT close the browser window on the next page as its needed exactly ‘as is’ for the final step.
Step 3: Retrieve Your Access Token
You should now have been redirect to the URL you set as your Redirect URL (in my case my blog). At the end of the URL Instagram has directed you to is your access token as a very long series of letters and numbers. It will almost certainly not all be visible so you’ll need to work a little to get it. I recommend:
- Clicking in the address bar of your browser
- Hit CTRL + A on the keyboard to ‘Select All’
- Hit CTRL + C on the keyboard to ‘Copy‘
- Open a text editor such as Notepad and paste the URL there, you should now be presented with something like this:
Everything after the equals sign (=) is your access token so in my case this would be: 856946666.7338417.ffefasgtasg805784be6ab4f24965e79.
You should consider your access token as a password for your Instagram account and so shouldn’t be revealed to anyone (mine above are fictitious).