Instagram has announced that they are allowing more third-party social media management software to post directly to Instagram. Up until now, the only programs that we knew of to post directly (i.e. not having to go through an app to most manually) were Grum and Buffergram. Both are paid plans, and when you manage a few Instagram accounts for clients, it starts to add up.

We have been fans of Hootsuite for a long time, so were well pleased with this announcement as we felt it was something that has been missing. With this new integration, Hootsuite could actually be the perfect social media management tool. 

We assumed that Hootsuite would need time to catch up with all this and that we wouldn’t be able to post directly for a little while. but Hootsuite are ON IT. We’ve already been playing with it and have posted our first direct post – honestly, this makes our lives so much easier! The Keeper of The Device can go on holiday without having to search fruitlessly for WiFi from a tent in Devon so that Instagram pics can be posted. We can schedule stuff with much less effort, and without resorting to Buffergram for the few days we can’t be in reach of the internet.

But despite all our combined technical ability, The Keeper of The Device was unable to get all the accounts we manage upgraded to the new arrangement of auto-posting. The shame. The shame of having to put a request in for a live chat with the Hootsuite team. Anyway, it worked and we now have five fully functioning auto-posting accounts on Hootsuite.

Here’s the secret…… need to be logged in to the Instagram account in question on your desktop. Then you need to ‘manage your social networks’, find the Instagram account in Hootsuite, and in profile settings, Connect with Instagram. Follow the instructions, and voila, you should have one Instagram account ready to post directly. Log out of Instagram on the desktop, and log in as the next one, repeat.

Thanks to the awesome Flavia at Hootsuite who gave us enough advice for us to work out that we needed to be logged in on the desktop for it to connect and upgrade to the new arrangement. We suspect they’re hugely busy right now, and wish them a calm few days on the helpdesk.

What you need to know about the new Hootsuite > Instagram interface

  1. Your Instagram account needs to be a business one that’s connected to your Facebook profile. If you’ve not done this already then you need to switch to a business account ASAP.
  2. The new posting thing won’t do video. You need to do the video ones through the Hootsuite app as normal. Sorry. Keeper of The Device, you may still be called upon on video posting days.
  3. We’re not 100% sure if the auto-posting thing will do multiple pictures. Hootsuite’s Composer (Beta) will let you add more than one pic. Whether it posts more than one and in what order we don’t know. Yet
  4. We can’t see a facility for auto-posting a first comment. We don’t do this, but I know some people like this facility.

We look forward to seeing what other things Instagram will let us do through Hootsuite. For now, we will be enjoying the novelty of images going out on our clients’ accounts at the time we would like them to go out rather than the time the Keeper of The Device is able to find five minutes and WiFi.

Here are some articles about Instagram’s announcement

In Tech Crunch – Instagram now allows businesses to schedule their posts

In The Verge – Instagram is finally adding a scheduling feature, sort of

And from Instagram themselves – Now You Can Schedule Posts with the Instagram Graph API