Accessing the Instagram API with PHP

I’m planning on redesigning my website and part of this will involve retrieving my own Instagram posts to show the most recent ones on the homepage. It’s been a while since I did any coding and so I wanted to learn how to do it myself rather than using a plugin. The main recent change is that Instagram now requires an access token in order to use their API; thankfully, it is easy to acquire this using the Pixel Union website. Simply login using your Instagram credentials and a token will be generated.

I then used the following PHP function to access the Instagram API and retrieve my posts as JSON – I can then format these as necessary to display on the homepage. Just replace “INSERT_TOKEN_HERE” with the token generated at Pixel Union. There are various other endpoints available – just check the Instagram Developer website for full details.

function instagram_api_curl_connect( $api_url ){
   $connection_c = curl_init();
   curl_setopt( $connection_c, CURLOPT_URL, $api_url );
   curl_setopt( $connection_c, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, 1 );
   curl_setopt( $connection_c, CURLOPT_TIMEOUT, 20 );
   $json_return = curl_exec( $connection_c );
   curl_close( $connection_c );
   return json_decode( $json_return, true );

$result = instagram_api_curl_connect("");
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