Instagram disconnection due to an 'Instagram account not found' error

This article covers a specific Falcon issue where certain Instagram accounts might disconnect due to an 'Instagram account not found' error. We'd like to inform you of the investigation we've conducted and the solution we've put in place to mitigate this issue.

Cause of the 'Instagram not found' error

On March 12, 2020, we were alerted to a large number of Instagram Channel disconnections. We promptly started an investigation and found that all disconnections were caused by the same error: 'Instagram account not found (code 100, subcode 33)'. In the days since, we've seen the same issue cause further disconnections.

The issue was discovered to originate on the side of Facebook (who manage the Instagram infrastructure). Other third parties are experiencing the same, as can be seen in this Facebook bug report.

The cause is a false response from Facebook's API. Falcon communicates with your Instagram account through this API. When Facebook notifies us that the Instagram Channel cannot be found, Falcon has to disconnect your Channel since we cannot guarantee a stable connection.

Efforts to mitigate the issue

Unfortunately, Facebook informed us and all other involved parties, that there would be no short-term solution. This forced us to shift our focus from awaiting a solution to finding a temporary workaround.

Since we cannot prevent the original issue, we've opted for a mitigation measure. Should we receive the error for your Channel, Falcon does not immediately disconnect your Channel anymore. Instead, we place your Channel in a 24-hour quarantine. During that time, we try to re-establish the connection automatically. The two possible outcomes are:

  1. The Facebook error disappears within the 24-hour period. Your Channel remains connected and all functionality is restored as soon as we do not receive the error from Facebook anymore.

    Warning:

    Actions related to your Instagram Channel (such as scheduled content getting published) might encounter an error while Falcon tries to re-establish the connection.

  2. The Facebook error does not disappear within the 24-hour period. Your Channel gets disconnected from Falcon and has to be reconnected manually by an Admin or Team Lead user. Those users will receive an email about the disconnection. Be sure to grant all required permissions during the reconnection flow. After reconnecting the Channel, you should regain full functionality of the Instagram Channel.

Warning:

In some cases, we've observed that the issue returns even after an Instagram Channel is reconnected to Falcon. In those cases, we take the same approach as described above and we recommend to reconnect your Channel once more and verify the granted permissions.

We are sorry for the inconvenience this issue might cause you. We hope the above solution will prevent most of the consequences you might experience from it. 

If you do continue to experience the issue frequently, please reach out to our Support team for further recourse.

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