Later Now Offers Automated Instagram Publishing

Later Now Offers Automated Instagram Publishing

Perhaps in keeping with its name, Later has caught up with Hootsuite and now allows users to automatically post images to Instagram, joining a small number of social media management tools that offer this feature.

For years, Instagram refused to allow users to post from anything other than the Instagram app. Social media management tools worked around this by offering a scheduling service that would then prompt users to open Instagram and complete the process of posting. In January, everything changed when suddenly Hootsuite announced that users could now schedule and automatically post images. Shortly after, Sendible and Tailwind joined this elite club, and now, Later joins the fray.

Of these four, only Hootsuite and Later offer a free tier, allowing users to post 30 photographs per month. Sendible and Tailwind seem better geared for companies who have a team of content producers that need to manage a complex schedule. For photographers such as myself, the basic offerings of Hootsuite and Later are ideal. Note that you will need to convert your Instagram to a business profile if you haven't already, and that may come at the cost of reduced engagement.

Having played with both Hootsuite and Later over the last few months, I find Later a much easier experience and, for me, this new feature is incredibly welcome. Firstly, Later's interface is clean, minimal, and very easy to use. This is in stark contrast to Hootsuite where the interface is confusing, cluttered, and painful on the eyes. This is in part because of the more complex services offered by Hootsuite, but also because of some terrible design. As I don't need anything complex, Later has always been my preferred option.

Later also offers a few fantastic features to free-tier users, such as a drag-and-drop content library that also tracks when photographs have been used; saved captions that allow you to keep different banks of hashtags; and the ability to count the number of hashtags being used. 

If you're posting photographs (notably, not videos) to Instagram once a day or less, Later is definitely worth exploring.

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