Instagram has finally opened up the possibility for its users to schedule their posts ahead of time. After years of users asking for this feature, the announcement was finally made today on Instagram’s business blog. Before you get too excited, though, there are two factors that you need to know.
First, and this will affect many of you, is that this feature will only be made available to business profiles. Many business owners in the past have been hesitant to switch to a business profile on Instagram, in fear of being forced to pay for market attention, similar to what happened with Facebook business pages years ago. While you can still make the switch at any time to a business profile, this is something to do your research on before you do. If you have already decided it isn’t worth the switch, Instagram has said that this update will eventually be made available to non-business profiles as well, but not likely until 2019.
The second thing you need to know about this announcement is that, at this time, you will have to use third-party software to schedule the posts. Instagram has not announced a plan to integrate this ability directly into its own app. It should be stated though, that there has never been an easy way to do this before. Previously, there has been software that allows you to plan out a post and then send you a reminder at a specific time for you to share the prepared post yourself. Now, however, applications like Hootsuite and Sprout Social will have access to the full functionality of planning and scheduling multiple posts ahead of time. In its announcement, Instagram said that this ability would be made available to all of its current partners. Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes said, “The scheduling and publishing of Instagram content has been the number one request for our 16 million customers. Now, they can manage large volumes of content, multiple team members and multiple Instagram accounts with ease and security. Hootsuite is excited to partner with Instagram to make this happen.”
Even with the disappointment of having to go through a third party to use the feature, I am still very excited about this release. This is a huge announcement for those of us who find it difficult to share on social media consistently. I can’t wait for the ability to set aside 15 minutes a week for my posts and then not think about it again. What about you? Is this feature worth having a business profile and using a third-party app for?