Rinstapkg is an R package that connects to the Instagram API using tidy principles. Rinstapkg is short for the Real Instagram Package. With this package you can like, comment, follow, and slide into some DMs just like the real Instagram. You can also get tons of feed data: user feeds, timeline feeds, location feeds and more! All this comes without the need to register for an application. Here are some of the package highlights:

NOTE: With great power comes great responsibility. Use of this package means that you will not use it to spam, harass, or perform other nefarious acts.


If you encounter a bug or issue, please file a minimal reproducible example on GitHub.



First, load the Rinstapkg package and log in. There are two ways to authenticate:

  1. OAuth 2.0
  2. Basic Username-Password

It is recommended to use OAuth 2.0 if you apply for and are approved for an Instagram App. This way multiple users can use your app without having to explicity share their credentials with you. If you do not have an approved app, you can still use this package by providing your username and password.

After logging in with ig_auth(), you can check your connectivity by looking at the information returned about your timeline (ig_my_timeline()), inbox (ig_my_inbox()), or recent activity (ig_my_recent_activity()). It should be information about you!

Timeline Feed

A simple function to start with is verifying that you can retrieve your timeline as it would appear in the Instagramm app or online. This function returns data that would appear in the authenticated user’s timeline feed. By default, the data is returned as a tidy tbl_df where each row represents one post from the feed. If you prefer to work with a list format, then just specify return_df=FALSE as an argument.

timeline_results <- ig_my_timeline()
#> # A tibble: 16 x 37
#>    taken_at      pk id    device_timestamp media_type code 
#>       <int>   <dbl> <chr>            <dbl>      <int> <chr>
#>  1   1.56e9 2.03e18 2034…  155676208810893          1 Bw8V…
#>  2   1.56e9 2.02e18 2024…  155552010984491          1 BwXT…
#>  3   1.55e9 2.01e18 2012… 1554147789723231          1 Bvua…
#>  4   1.55e9 1.99e18 1994… 1551925346931404          1 BusL…
#>  5   1.55e9 1.99e18 1991… 1551641044183919          1 Bujt…
#>  6   1.55e9 1.99e18 1985… 1550918831604424          1 BuOL…
#>  7   1.55e9 1.98e18 1982… 1550540314361522          1 BuC6…
#>  8   1.55e9 1.98e18 1981…  155045410572131          1 BuAV…
#>  9   1.55e9 1.98e18 1981… 1550455167737230          1 BuAW…
#> 10   1.55e9 1.98e18 1976… 1549857235614429          1 Btui…
#> 11   1.55e9 1.97e18 1973… 1549464013913359          1 Bti0…
#> 12   1.55e9 1.97e18 1972… 1549402375783967          1 Btg_…
#> 13   1.55e9 1.97e18 1968… 1548890866357063          1 BtRv…
#> 14   1.55e9 1.97e18 1969… 1548970299424940          1 BtUG…
#> 15   1.55e9 1.97e18 1969… 1548961006833604          1 BtT0…
#> 16   1.55e9 1.97e18 1969… 1548955131255990          1 BtTp…
#> # … with 31 more variables: client_cache_key <chr>, filter_type <int>,
#> #   image_versions2 <list>, original_width <int>, original_height <int>,
#> #   location <list>, lat <dbl>, lng <dbl>, user <list>,
#> #   can_viewer_reshare <lgl>, caption_is_edited <lgl>,
#> #   direct_reply_to_author_enabled <lgl>, comment_likes_enabled <lgl>,
#> #   comment_threading_enabled <lgl>, has_more_comments <lgl>,
#> #   max_num_visible_preview_comments <int>,
#> #   can_view_more_preview_comments <lgl>, comment_count <int>,
#> #   inline_composer_display_condition <chr>, like_count <int>,
#> #   has_liked <lgl>, likers <list>, photo_of_you <lgl>, caption <list>,
#> #   can_viewer_save <lgl>, organic_tracking_token <chr>, preview <chr>,
#> #   next_max_id <dbl>, preview_comments <list>, usertags <list>,
#> #   has_viewer_saved <lgl>

Get Followers

With the ig_get_followers() function you can retrieve a tbl_df of all the users that follow a particular user. Just provide the user_id of the account whose followers you would like to get. NOTE: The Instagram APIs use Ids to retrieve information so instead of giving the account’s username (typically starting with an @symbol), you need to first grab the user_id of that account using the username, then supply it to the ig_get_followers() function.

In the example above you’ll notice that we didn’t retrieve all 100M+ followers that Justin Bieber has. By default the function only returns the top 10 pages of followers, but you can set the max_pages argument equal to Inf to return all of them. Caution: This might take awhile!


Future methods to support:

  • Profile Functions:
    • ig_profile_picture_change()
    • ig_profile_picture_remove()
    • ig_profile_set_private()
    • ig_profile_set_public()
    • ig_profile_get()
    • ig_profile_edit()
    • ig_remove_self_tag()
    • ig_approve_friendship()
    • ig_ignore_friendship()
    • ig_ignore_friendship()
  • Creation Functions:
    • ig_upload_photo()
    • ig_upload_video()
    • ig_upload_album()
  • More In-App Functions
    • ig_direct_message()
    • ig_direct_share()
    • ig_follow()
    • ig_unfollow()
    • ig_block()
    • ig_unblock()


This application uses other open source software components. The authentication components are mostly verbatim copies of the routines established in the googlesheets package (https://github.com/jennybc/googlesheets). Methods are inspired by the Instagram-API-python library (https://github.com/LevPasha/Instagram-API-python) and Instagram-API library (https://github.com/mgp25/Instagram-API). We acknowledge and are grateful to these developers for their contributions to open source.

More Information

Use of this package means that you will not use it to spam, harass, or perform other nefarious acts. For more details on how to use the API please see this package’s website at https://eric88tchong.github.io/Rinstapkg.