Using notification publishing

In some circumstances Buffer can’t post automatically to a social network on your behalf. This can be due to limitations set by the social network that restrict third-party apps like Buffer.
There are also times when Buffer can post automatically, but you’d prefer to finish the post yourself manually. For these situations, we’re exploring an alternative method of publishing that involves preparing the post in Buffer then getting a mobile notification when it’s time to post.
  • To publish using notifications, you'll need to grant Instagram access to All Photos in your phone's settings and download Buffer's mobile app (available on iOS and Android).
  • Publishing via notifications is currently available for Instagram only. However we are planning on expanding this to other channels in the future, including Facebook Groups, TikTok, Pinterest personal profiles, and YouTube Shorts.

In this article:

  1. Overview
  2. How to identify notifications in the queue or calendar
  3. Finishing a post using notifications
  4. Finding your past notifications
  5. Adjusting posting default to using notifications only
  6. Resetting notifications
  7. Who receives the notification when it’s time to post


To see the notification publishing process in action, check out the video below.

How to identify notifications in the queue or calendar

Posts scheduled as notifications will display an orange mobile phone icon the queue and calendar:

Buffer web Instagram notification

Finishing a post using notifications

  1. When it's time for your post to be published, you'll receive a push notification to your phone. Tapping the alert will bring you to a preview of your Instagram post within the Buffer mobile app.
    • If you've added a Sticker such as Music, Tag Products, Topics, Links, or added a story caption, you'll come back to this screen to copy the text and then paste it into Instagram.

Opened Instagram notification in the Buffer mobile app with Sticker fields and copy options

  1. From there, tap Open in Instagram.
    • If you're managing multiple Instagram accounts, make sure you are switched to the correct account before you publish your post.
  2. You can then choose whether to post to your Feed or Story.
  3. Once inside Instagram, crop your image, use filters, enhance your video with music, add stickers, and publish your post just as you would if you were sharing your post or story natively.
    • For posts that contain multiple images, tap into your photo library to find all of your scheduled images.
    • To insert your caption, tap in the caption area on iOS or tap the Aa option on Android to paste it in from your phone’s clipboard. 
    • If you've added Stickers, you can head back to the Buffer app to copy your text, then paste it into the appropriate field in Instagram before you hit publish.

Pre-scheduled locations will not be included on posts sent through as notifications, so you may wish to add the location back in before sharing the post.

Finding your past notifications

If you accidentally miss a notification, you can share it again by going to the Sent tab. You'll find all Instagram posts that have been scheduled, including those that were scheduled using notifications. 
On mobile
If you’re using the Buffer mobile app, go to the "Sent” section of your Instagram channel. Find the post you’d like to share, then tap the three dots on the top right hand corner of the post. From there you can either post it immediately to Instagram or copy it back into your queue.

Buffer mobile app past notification

On web

On the web version of Buffer, go to the Sent tab, find the post you'd like to share and select Share Again.

Buffer web past notification

Adjusting posting default to using notifications only

If you would prefer for all posts to be scheduled and sent as notifications, you can do that in the settings area of the mobile app.

  1. Tap the menu bar in the top left of your screen.
  2. Select your Instagram channel.
  3. Tap Settings in the bottom right of your screen.
  4. Under the "Instagram" area, toggle "Enable Notifications by default" ON.

To find this setting on web, select your Instagram channel, then choose Settings > General and make sure "Enable Notifications by default" is Enabled.

Buffer web Enable Notifications by default setting with Enabled toggled ON

Resetting notifications

If notifications are not coming through to your phone, please follow the steps below.

  1. Open the Buffer app on your mobile device and tap the menu bar in the top left of your screen.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the list of your channels and tap Signout.
  3. Log back into the Buffer app.
  4. Tap the Settings icon at the bottom right of your screen.
  5. Tap the Account Settings tab.
  6. Tap Push Notifications.
  7. Tap Reset Push Notifications or RESET.

GIF of resetting push reminders on mobile

Who receives the notification when it’s time to post?

When it's time for one of your Instagram posts to be published (assuming it wasn't published automatically), we'll send a push notification to whichever mobile devices have been connected to your Buffer account. This includes both the account owner and any users who have been invited to the Instagram account with Full Posting Access. Learn more about user permissions here.

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