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Instagram Realtime and FBNS

GitHub Workflow Status

Getting started

  • Install the library
npm i instagram_mqtt


yarn add instagram_mqtt
  • Extend the IgApiClient
import { IgApiClient } from 'instagram-private-api';
import { withFbnsAndRealtime, withFbns, withRealtime } from 'instagram_mqtt';

// wrap the client
// ig is now IgApiClientMQTT for typescript users
const ig = withFbnsAndRealtime(new IgApiClient());

// OR if you only want fbns/realtime
const igFbns = withFbns(new IgApiClient());
const igRealtime = withRealtime(new IgApiClient());

// login like you usually do or load the state

// use ig.realtime and ig.fbns

Version Infos

To see what's new, visit the changelog.


The RealtimeClient is used, as the name implies, for in-app communication. Everything using some kind of event is communicating over this client.


  • Typing Events
  • Presence Events
  • Direct Messaging
  • Live Comments
  • Live Events


Your IDE should be able to auto complete the event names for you as Typescript types are in the npm package.

Name Description Typed?
realtimeSub Any message sent to /ig_realtime_sub partially
direct Direct events yes
iris Any message sent to /ig_message_sync not handled by message partially
message Direct messages yes
clientConfigUpdate Updates to quick experiments (may cause the client to disconnect) yes
appPresence Presence updates yes
<keyof QueryIDs> Messages regarding the specified query id no


FBNS is for notifications (so it's readonly). You can subscribe to any notification using

ig.fbns.on('push' /* your handler */);

You can subscribe to a specific event using

ig.fbns.on(/* desired collapseKey */, /* your handler */)

Note: this library provides the query (actionPath/Params) as an object (actionParams) so you can use actionParams.YOUR_KEY.


In order to debug the clients you can set the environment variable DEBUG. Recommended is setting it to ig:mqtt:*. If you want to debug the entire instagram-private-api, set it to ig:*. Currently, the emitted "channels" are:

  • ig:mqtt:realtime
  • ig:mqtt:fbns
  • ig:mqtt:mqttot

If you want to debug the mqtts library set it either to * or ig:*,mqtts:*.

An example .env file would look like this:




Since version 1.0, there is support for basic mixins. A mixin is a class with an apply() method (extends Mixin base class). This method is called once the RealtimeClient is constructed. You can use the hook() function to hook into methods (pre and post) and override the return value. By default, the MessageSyncMixin and the RealtimeSubMixin are used.


  • Proper descriptions for events
  • Error handling
  • Testing... a lot.


All scripts to research the mqtt client are in the /frida/ directory. As the name suggests, you'll need frida for this.

Start frida and connect to the process:

# assume frida is running on remote device...

frida -U -n -l PATH_TO_SCRIPT

# com.instagram.threadsapp is also valid
Script Description
mqttListen.js Prints all outgoing Realtime-MQTT messages



MQTToT is the underlying connection. It uses a modified version of MQTT 3. The modifications are small, but (at least for javascript) may not work with regular MQTT libraries (or at least without core modification).


  • The connect packet doesn't contain a clientId. Instead, it contains a zipped thrift-payload. The flags are set to contain a username and password which are in the payload and not as strings in the packet.
  • The connack packet can contain a payload. Regular clients would throw an error as the remaining length should be equal to 0 but in this case it's intended (the MQTT 3 standard doesn't specify a payload).


In earlier versions, the realtime client used an old method (built on the MQTT standard) to connect (it's still being used in mgp25's library), but thr RealtimeClient is using MQTToT to connect. In contrast to FBNS it doesn't use a device-auth, it uses cookie-auth as it was the case with the old method.

The RealtimeClient communicates on different MQTT-Topics 8most of the time one for requesting and one for a response).


FBNS uses MQTToT to connect with a device-auth. A successful auth will return a payload in the CONNACK packet with values used for future connections. And a response containing a token, that gets sent to an instagram api endpoint (/api/v1/push/register/), is sent to /fbns_reg_resp. This completes the auth.

Now, push notifications are sent to /fbns_msg.


Setting up the environment

If you're using x86, make sure to install ARM translations for yor device in order to get ProxyDroid to work.

Instructions are here.


Thanks to valga for providing and maintaining the PHP library. This library integrates with the instagram-private-api.

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