Can You Integrate Instagram with Drupal?

Submitted by Candace Saunde… on 04/10/2019 - 11:00:am

Just last year, Pew Research Center discovered that Instagram had moved up to become the third most popular social media platform, with 35% of U.S. adults actively using it. With its rise in popularity, more businesses are turning to the platform to advertise their products and engage with customers, but the potential benefits aren’t limited to the app itself.

Some businesses have started experimenting with these potential benefits by embedding their Instagram feed to streaming images with certain hashtags on their website. Whether you’d like to show off your business’s latest photos and videos to leverage your social influence, there’s more than one reason to integrate this platform with your website.

If you’re a Drupal user, or considering using Drupal as your CMS, you may be wondering how to bring the two platforms together. In this blog post, we will discuss the current modules available to how a developer can help.

Option 1. Use Modules for the Integration

The first and easiest option for integrating Instagram with your Drupal website is to use a contributed Drupal module. If you have an in-house IT team, they should be able to help you install one of the following modules.

Now let’s discuss some of the Drupal modules available and their status in terms of their stability.

The Deprecated Modules

While there are several Drupal modules available for integrating Instagram with your website, two of them are no longer available for use.

The first of these modules to be discontinued is the Instagram Block. This module was designed using the Instagram API Platform. However, as of January 31, 2018, Instagram chose to discontinue the use of this API and its capabilities to protect the privacy of its users, which you can read more about here. Unfortunately, this change resulted in this module being marked as unsupported.

For those looking to display their feed on their website, the Instagram Feeds module was once available as well. While it is not as clear why this module was marked as unsupported and obsolete, we can infer that it has met the same fate as Instagram Block due to the discontinuation of the Instagram API Platform.

The Allegedly Active Modules

Despite the deprecated modules, we are still left with two actively maintained modules, or so it would seem until you read a bit further.

Since Instagram Feeds is no longer available for embedding your social feed on your site, Drupal recommends trying the Instagram Social Module instead. While it may appear like this module is being actively maintained, given the “Module Maintained by MediaCurrent” image near the top of the page, you may notice that there are 14 open bugs with a 0% response rate, and the last commit was made 2 years ago—that sure doesn’t seem very ‘active’ to us.

That leaves us with Drupagram, but this particular module offers more concerns than the last. When the module was released back in 2012, it was considered a “limited but stable release,” which already reduces our confidence in the module from 7 years back. Not only that, but there are a whopping 7 bugs open on this module with a 0% response rate, a commit hasn’t been made in 2 years, and the module only complies with Drupal 7. If we weren’t convinced by the last module, we definitely aren't excited about this one.

Sandbox and Other Experimental Modules

There are a couple of sandbox and other experimental modules to consider as well. But as most of these pose a security risk, we decided not to go into detail about them here. However, if you’re interested in checking those out for yourself, you can visit our exhaustive list here.

Option 2. Hire a Developer

Hiring a specialized Drupal is certainly going to increase the cost of integrating Instagram with your Drupal site. However, based on the current selection of modules available, this may be the best (perhaps the only) option for pulling content from your Instagram account to your site.

Let’s break down some of the options available if you work with a Drupal developer to acquire a solution.

Sponsor a Module Addition or New Integration

Drupal is an open-source CMS, which means that the code can be accessed, redistributed, and modified by anyone. In this way, all of the aforementioned modules were created and maintained by members of the Drupal community.

If you hire a Drupal developer, a member of the Drupal community, he or she can amend the existing issues with one of the aforementioned modules for use on your site. Another option would be for that developer to build an entirely new integration (see below).

Build Upon Existing Modules

Along the same lines, if one of the existing modules almost meets your needs, but not quite, your developer can build upon an existing module. By adding onto that module, your integration with Instagram will be customized to meet your unique needs.

Create a New Integration

The final option, which may be necessary for Instagram, is to have your developer build an entirely new integration for the social media platform. Because this will be an entirely fresh, custom module, there’s really no limit to what you can do with it.

Looking for a Drupal Development Team?

While there are might be other teams capable of integrating your favorite social media platform with your Drupal site, consider partnering with a team where the sky’s the limit.

At ClikFocus, we’ve been building Drupal sites for over a decade, and we’d love to provide you with limitless opportunities for what your Drupal site can do for you and your business.