“Apps created on or after November 17, 2015 will start in Sandbox Mode and function on newly updated API rate-limits and behaviors. Prior to going Live, and being able to be used by people other than the developers of the app, these apps will have to go through a new review process,” a note on Instagram’s site said.
The Sandbox Mode will let developers build and test their app as it is being reviewed. Apps like Phonegram, Retro, and Webbygram will have to change to meet Instagram’s new requirements.
Although it seems like a big change, the number of feed apps the update will affect is small. Instagram hit 400 million users in September, but according to TechCrunch, even the most popular third-party client has “0.5 percent or fewer as many monthly active users.”
Instagram’s newly simplified platform policy also cited areas in which it plans to improve support, such as helping brands and advertisers manage their audiences better, help users share their content with third-party apps, and improve tools for publishers to discover content.
The news may incite groans from developers, but the company is providing six months of preparation before submission for the review period ends, giving them some time to focus on photo-editing.