The “Insta” in Instagram has kept the photo-focused social media platform from allowing scheduled posts — until now. On January 30, third-party social media management platform Hootsuite announced an update that will allow users with Instagram Business accounts to schedule posts ahead of time.
The change is made possible through an update to Instagram Graph API. Previously, the API didn’t allow for scheduling posts. While Hootsuite already had Instagram integration, it couldn’t automatically send the post to Instagram at the scheduled time. Users could pre-upload and write out the post, and Hootsuite would even send a push notification at the proper time, but users had to go back in and hit the post button manually.
With today’s update, users can actually schedule posts to Instagram and Hootsuite will share them automatically at the set time. Hootsuite says the feature is their most requested option among the user base. Adding Instagram alongside other scheduling options means users can schedule messages across all of the platform’s supported networks at once, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+, and now Instagram.
The new feature is only available for registered Instagram business profiles, not personal accounts. Parent company Facebook has long had the option to schedule posts for businesses and publishers through the Pages platform; including scheduling for Instagram in the updated Graph API brings that same functionality to the photo sharing platform.
“Scheduling and publishing of Instagram content has been the number one request for our 16 million customers,” Ryan Holmes, CEO of Hootsuite, said in a press release. “Now, they can manage large volumes of content, multiple team members, and multiple Instagram accounts with ease and security. Hootsuite is excited to launch our new integration with Instagram to help our customers achieve their business goals and succeed with social.”
Hootsuite says Instagram is one of the platform’s fastest growing networks generating around two million photos and videos each month — adding scheduling will likely fuel that growth even more for businesses. Instagram’s last count had 25 million businesses sharing on the photo platform, a growth of 10 million over the span of only a few months. If you’re a standard, personal account user and are wondering when you’ll be able to schedule posts, well, we don’t recommend holding your breath.