How to set up an Instagram inbox in Front
Front’s Instagram channel allows you to connect an Instagram Business Account to receive and send direct messages (including Story Mentions and Story Replies) and comments directly from Front.
You can connect multiple Instagram business accounts to Front as separate channels. The channel does not support Instagram “Creator” accounts.
Before proceeding, ensure you have access to an Instagram Business Account that is connected with a Facebook Business Page. Non-business accounts cannot be connected to Front.
Click the gear icon on the top right of Front and into the Company or Personal settings tab, depending on which space you are working with.
Click on Inboxes on the left menu and Add an individual inbox or Add a team inbox, depending on which space you're in. Or select an existing inbox you want to add the channel to.
From the Channels menu of the inbox, click Add channel, choose Instagram from the channel menu, and then click the blue Connect to Instagram button.
A window should open prompting you to sign in with a Facebook Business account. Make sure you log in with your Facebook credentials here (not Instagram).
You should see a page that asks which Instagram Business Accounts you want to connect to Front. Select one of these accounts — you can connect other accounts in a separate channel by repeating these steps afterward.
Next you should see a page asking which Page to connect. Again, select only one Page. The next step will ask you to approve permissions that Front will require to connect to your account.
After successfully authorizing with Facebook, you’ll be redirect to a final page to select the Page to connect to Front. Simply click on the page and then click Submit.
Once the channel is successfully created, it will have the default name of Instagram. You can optionally rename it to whatever your Instagram handle is, e.g., @acme.
How it works
The channel supports the following:
- Receiving direct messages, including those with media attachments like GIFs and audio recordings, as well as Story Mentions and Story Replies
- Pending DMs are also received in Front. You do not need to accept a pending DM to make it appear in Front.
- Replying to direct messages, although only plain text replies and emojis are currently supported (no attachments)
- Receiving and replying to comments on your business’s posts, or comments that @ mention your business on other posts
- Messages that are deleted/unsent in Instagram will be automatically removed from Front as well. However, messages deleted in Front do not automatically get deleted in Instagram.
The channel does not support the following:
- Historical import of messages. Only new messages/comments will arrive in the inbox after it is connected.
- “Hearting” messages
- Facebook quick replies (although Front’s message templates can be used instead)
- Sharing of other Instagram posts via DM that are not Story Mentions or Story Replies
- Direct messages with the same person will thread into the same conversation in Front. This includes Story Mentions and Story Replies.
- A separate conversation in Front will be created for each comment thread on a post
If you're not able to connect your Instagram account to Front, ensure the following:
1. The Instagram account you are connecting is a business account, not a creator account. Creator accounts are not fully supported by the Instagram Messenger API yet, so the Front channel does not support them yet.
2. Ensure that the Instagram account you are trying to connect is linked to your business' Facebook page. In the Page Settings for your business page in Facebook, if you click the "Instagram" tab you should see the Instagram account connected.
3. On the Instagram account, make sure that the "Allow Access to Messages" setting in your Instagram account is enabled by following the steps here. If you enable it, make sure to remove and re-add the channel in Front.
4. During the channel authorization process, when the Facebook popup appears, click "Edit settings" and ensure that all scopes are enabled.
How can I sync only DMs and not comments?
At this time, when you connect a particular Instagram page Front will automatically import all DMs and comments, and there is no option to skip importing one or the other kind of message. However, you can create a Front Rule that will automatically filters out all comment messages by using the following structure: "WHEN Inbound message is received, IF Conversation comes from [Instagram channel] AND Subject Contains "commented on your", THEN Archive conversation."
This channel is available on all Front pricing plans.