Instagram widget and expired access tokens

Just putting this out in case anyone else runs into this problem:

We use LightWidget to put an instagram feed on our site. Recently it stopped loading images. I suspected an expired access token for Instagram, and that turned out to be correct, however I was unable to refresh it in the usual way through the LightWidget site.

Turns out that Facebook/Meta has disabled quite a few apps, including this one. The gory details may be found here: Restriction | LightWidget

LightWidget has been able to correct the problem for widgets using the consumer connection type, but not for the business connection, which of course is the one we were using. Instructions for fixing both kinds are here: Current issues with our app | LightWidget

Essentially the business connection fix is to create a temporary consumer connection and using that in your existing widget until LightWidget sorts this out with Meta - we did that and it worked.

You may or may not be affected by the problem even if you use the business connection - we had two and one was ok, presumably because the token had not expired yet - but rather than contacting LightWidget support (they are apparently swamped) the instructions referenced above should suffice.

Good luck,

-= G =-

Thanks for the notice/warning. Thankfully we were using a consumer connection and just needed to refresh the token.

Thanks for the heads up, G – what a pain! As you probably know, we started suggesting LightWidget since it was such an affordable solution for meeting this need, compared to more full-featured apps like Juicer and Curator. Incidents like this also speak to why we slowed and then essentially stopped trying to keep up our own Facebook/Instagram and Twitter/X integrations—in recent years those APIs have been such a moving target and I would say they have squandered a lot of developer trust; they can change requirements, change results formatting, or yank your app with very little recourse.

I would have thought, “Oh, surely teams for whom this is their whole business will have an easier time of this than we did” but it’s unfortunate to see LightWidget in a bad spot (and your Instagram embed caught in the crosshairs of the issue!). Crossing fingers for a quick resolution…