July 29, 2022

Guide to Using Instagram Direct Messaging API for Business

Reading time about 9 min
instagram dm api

Instagram Direct Messaging API opens up Instagram for business use. It lets you connect your business Instagram account to a CRM or another marketing tool and manage conversations more efficiently. 

In this post, we’ll guide you through how to set up Instagram Direct Messaging API. By the end, you’ll be able to connect Instagram messaging to your business tools and create a centralized system for managing customer communications.

What Is the Instagram DM API?

Instagram Direct Messaging API is a collection of Graph API endpoints that lets you connect your professional Instagram account to a third-party app, e.g. a CRM system or a marketing automation platform, to receive and send Instagram messages from its interface. Basically, it helps you streamline customer communication workflows through your preferred application.

If you use Messenger API for Instagram, you don’t have to switch between the Instagram interface and your live chat software to handle conversations on two different channels. Instead, all conversations will be in your chat admin.

Why manage Instagram messages through a centralized system?

Instagram DM API enables you to integrate your Instagram Direct Messenger into a centralized customer communications system. 

Organizing all your customer messages in one place has significant benefits for a business:

  • Efficiency: Customer service reps manage conversations from one messaging platform.
  • Speed: Response times go down when all chats are in one place. 
  • Quality service: Agents can easily access chat history and customer profiles to offer relevant help.
  • Customer satisfaction: Prompt and frictionless service results in positive customer experiences.
  • More data: All conversation insights are collected in one place for easy monitoring. 

Still not convinced Instagram Direct Messaging API is for your business? Let’s look at how other businesses use it.

How Businesses Use Instagram Messenger API for Marketing

Instagram is the best channel for many businesses. It’s where customers discover your brand, explore your products, and reach out via Messenger to make orders or get more information. 

With Instagram Direct Message API, businesses have added Instagram Messenger as a core part of their customer communications strategy. Here are just a few success stories.

Instagram DM API use case #1: Drive sales

Instagram’s direct messaging is more than a customer service channel. It’s a great place for finding high-quality leads and making sales.

Instagram Stories and shoppable posts from businesses often catch the interest of potential customers. But before making purchasing decisions, people often reach out with questions. With quick answers to those inquiries, ecommerce companies can easily turn prospects into paying customers.

Kiehl's using Instagram DM API for marketing

Kiehl’s Malaysia was receiving a large volume of customer messages on Instagram. The company needed a solution to help its team manage inbound communication faster and convert more leads.

Instagram DM API made it possible to streamline all conversations and effectively route complex requests through a sophisticated messaging system. Kiehl’s integrated Instagram Messenger with a third-party automation platform and built a completely automated experience for Messenger. 

Kielh’s solution replies to customer requests with automatic welcome or away messages, and hands complex conversations over to live agents for high-quality, personalized support.

Given the number of incoming queries Kiehl’s Malaysia gets every hour, responding to each message manually is pretty much out of the question.

But thanks to the Messenger API for Instagram, the brand is able to connect with customers, help them choose the right products, and drive sales — all through a centralized customer management platform. It not only reduced their response time but also increased the number of qualified leads by 30%, converting 20% of chats into sales

Instagram DM API use case #2: Route messages to the right teams

If you operate internationally, handling messages in multiple languages and time zones is a familiar pain. With Instagram Direct Message API, you don’t have to create multiple Instagram accounts to support customers speaking different languages. 

H&M using Instagram dm API for marketing

H&M receives large volumes of customer inquiries in multiple languages every day. The company needed to centralize customer conversations while being able to sort incoming requests by language. 

With the Instagram DM API, H&M has integrated Instagram Messenger with a unified customer experience management platform to automatically detect languages and organize and route messages to the correct team. 

This integration enabled the company to deliver personalized support to customers and speak their language, literally and figuratively. As a result, the fashion giant saw an increase in customer satisfaction by over 9 points and boosted agent efficiency by 31%.

Instagram DM API use case #3: Streamline customer service efforts

Reacting to customer feedback is a serious challenge when it’s all over the web. It takes a lot of time to spot a comment or a mention and reply to it with a personalized message. Often, by the time you get to it, the issue is no longer relevant and the customer is disappointed.

Instagram Direct Messaging API helps businesses accelerate customer service and “catch” a conversation on time regardless of the channel.

Sephora interacts a lot with its Instagram followers. They comment on its posts, mention it in their own posts, and frequently tag the brand in their Stories.

Sephora’s main challenge was keeping all customer interactions under control at such a high level of engagement. People would ask both pre- and post-purchase questions in public comments, on stories, and in posts. The customer support team struggled to keep up with requests coming from every corner of Instagram.

The Messenger API for Instagram enabled Sephora’s support team to manage all incoming requests from a centralized platform and resolve them faster. Now, the team can quickly spot and handle queries received via Instagram direct messaging, comments, and story mentions all on one platform.

It’s clear that the Messenger API for Instagram drives a lot of opportunities for businesses, allowing them to increase conversions and improve customer service while spending significantly less time managing customer communications. 

So, what do you need to do to make the most of the Instagram API and streamline your customer communications strategy?

How Can You Access Instagram API?

In this section, we’ll answer the most common questions about Instagram DM API.

Can I use the Instagram API for free?

Instagram DM API is completely free of charge.

Is Instagram’s API public?

No, it’s not. The API isn’t immediately available for all businesses. You’ll need to submit a request to get your eligibility checked before getting access to Instagram API. The process of requesting advanced access is called App Review.

How do I access the Instagram API?

To be eligible for Instagram DM API, you’ll need to:

  • Have an Instagram Business Account linked to a Facebook page
  • Accept Meta’s terms and conditions
  • Adhere to Meta’s technical documentation standards  
  • Implement Send API, Webhooks, and Conversation API
  • Respect message delete webhooks
  • Implement Instagram Story Reply and Story Mention
  • Ensure your messaging experience has an escalation path to a human agent
  • Implement the handling of media CDN URLs

You should handle user authentication through access tokens — these can be found in your Facebook account. Next, you need to handle endpoint authorization through Permissions.

To pass the app review, request only the permissions your app needs to function. 

Start Using Instagram DMs Without the Hassle

To use Instagram Direct Messaging API, you’ll need a tech-savvy person on your team. It’s best to have a developer working on this project. If you don’t have one, fear not. We have a workaround for you.

Instead of implementing Instagram DM API, simply use Sendinblue Conversations to achieve the same result with much less effort.

Sendinblue Conversations is a centralized platform for managing all your customer communications in one place. You can connect your Instagram Direct, Facebook Messenger, and chat widget to the Sendinblue interface and handle all your chats from there. Soon WhatsApp messaging and email conversations will be available, too.

Here’s how you connect your Instagram Messenger to Sendinblue Conversations:

  • Have a dedicated Facebook Business Page.
  • Make sure you’ve switched your Instagram account to a Professional Account. 
  • Link your Instagram Professional Account to your Facebook Page.
  • Go through a simple no-code authentication process. As your Instagram Professional Account is connected to your Facebook page, you’ll need to authenticate with Facebook.

instagram dm api chat

Once you’ve connected your account to Sendinblue Conversations, you’ll be able to receive notifications and reply to your customers directly from the Sendinblue interface. 

What else can I do with Sendinblue Conversations?

To make the conversation experience as smooth as possible for your agents, we also offer time-saving features like Saved Replies, Agents, and Groups:

  • Saved Replies: Respond to your most common queries quickly and efficiently.
  • Agents: Add more than one agent to handle customer conversations across your team.
  • Groups: Divide your agents by function and assign chats to the most relevant team, manually or automatically.

Most importantly, Sendinblue Conversations provides you with chat statistics and insights. You can sort data by messaging app, date, agent, group, and customer satisfaction. With our statistics, you can track things like average response time and monitor the performance of your customer communication strategy.

Try out Sendinblue Conversations today to reply to your Instagram DMs, Facebook Chats, and live chats directly from Sendinblue.

Launch Instagram DMs for your business with Sendinblue

Quick and easy setup, saved replies & agent routing, integrated CRM, chat statistics.

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