Finally We Have Instagram Scheduling. Sort of.

I’m sure social media planners, content creators and influencers around the world are jumping for joy at this new announcement (30.01.18). In a long overdue move Instagram is finally allowing scheduling of posts to business profiles. It’s a confusing announcement though. You see, you can’t actually schedule a post directly from the Instagram app but you can schedule one through one of Instagram’s partners, such as Hootsuite.

Confused? I can see why. Many small business owners I speak to don’t schedule posts at all. They create their posts, whether on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, on the day they are posting.   If that’s the case, the new change to Instagram won’t affect you. Life on the platform will carry on as it always has done. Upload your photo to Instagram, write your caption, add a few hashtags and post. No change. However, if you’re one of the converted; a savvy social media planner who schedules your posts through third-party social management tools, this is big news.  At least it is if you use Hootsuite, Sprinklr or Sprout Social.  All the Buffer users out there (me included) are waiting with baited breath…hurry up Buffer! Post scheduling has never been available until now. Until this new feature was announced users have only been able to pre-write post captions and send out push notifications to remind them to post at given times. Instagram has always been about being ‘in the moment’. Users have been encouraged to share photos and videos in real time. This new update means that the ‘insta’-gram can now been replaced by the ‘plan’-agram. Good for businesses looking to manage their organic presence more effectively although it does worry me slightly.

A word of caution

Making posting so much easier may have an impact on the quality of posts to the Instagram platform. To me it’s always been a well curated platform (or at least the accounts I follow are). With the increase in quantity this may lead to a decrease in quality. If it’s so easy to schedule 10 posts a day, why not go for it? Do me a favour, please don’t. Another downside is that if people can schedule and post their content from a third-party platform, it may reduce the amount of time businesses are spending interacting with others. Don’t think that you can just post daily without even visiting the platform. The most successful social media users are people who engage in meaningful conversations with other users on the platform. So the time you save with new posting feature can be time spent having great conversations with other people on Instagram. Remember, Instagram is owned by Facebook, a platform that is pushing more meaningful interactions and conversations. A few more Instagram changes you might be interested to know about:

  • Instagram Stories – at the end of 2017 users were able to add highlights to their feed, hence allowing stories older than 24 hours to be saved to their profile.
  •  Business Discovery – users will be able to view profile info of other businesses
  •  Mentions – business profiles will be able to view posts they’ve been tagged in.
  •  The new scheduling feature is only available on business accounts at the moment but expect it to be rolled out to personal profiles by the end of the year.
  •  And what about Buffer? As a massive Buffer fan, I can only hope that this change will make its way to this management tool sometime soon.

I’d love to know if you’re a scheduler or a ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ content creator on Instagram. Oh, and if you want to follow me I’m @_gossipgirlpr.