How Instagram works with Buffer Publish

Instagram only allow third party apps to publish posts automatically on behalf of a user under specific conditions. In Buffer Publish, this is known as Direct Scheduling. For posts that can't be published automatically, we will instead send a push notification to your phone when it's time for the post to be published. This is known as Reminders.

The process of scheduling your Instagram posts works the same way for both Direct Scheduling and Reminders, but the type of Instagram account you're scheduling the post for, as well as the type of content you're sharing, will determine whether the post is published automatically or scheduled as a reminder. Jump to this section if you're not sure which type of Instagram account you have.

Direct Scheduling vs. Reminders

Direct Scheduling

Single image or video posts being scheduled for an Instagram Business Account will be published automatically, assuming the image or video is within Instagram's accepted aspect ratio range. Additionally, videos must be between 3 and 60 seconds.

Reminders

Any posts being scheduled for an Instagram Personal Profile, regardless of the type of content, will be scheduled as reminders. Additionally, posts being scheduled for an Instagram Business Account, which contain multiple images, or contain an image or video that falls outside of Instagram's accepted aspect ratio range, will be scheduled as reminders. Whenever you're scheduling a post, we'll let you know if it's going to be scheduled as a reminder. Additionally, posts scheduled as reminders will display a bell icon in the Queue.

The reminder will be sent as a push notification to your phone when it's time for your post to be published. When the notification comes through, you'll be able to complete the posting process in the Instagram app itself. Learn more about this process here.

Instagram Personal Profiles vs. Business Accounts

Instagram Personal Profiles are public or private accounts that are for personal use. People largely use Personal Profiles for keeping in touch with friends and sharing personal photos and stories. Instagram Business Accounts are public accounts, specifically designed to be used by brands and organizations. Business Accounts have access to some neat extra features, like being able to add contact information, accessing insights about followers and posts, and being able to promote posts as ads.

It's important to note that Instagram Business Accounts fall under the "Professional Account" category within Instagram. Instagram offers two types of Professional Accounts - Business Accounts (for brands and organizations) and Creator Accounts (for public figures, artists, and influencers). Direct Scheduling within Publish is only supported for Business Accounts, not for Creator Accounts.

Features available in Publish depending on what type of account you have

The table below outlines the Instagram specific features that Publish offers, and whether you'll be able to use them based on what type of Instagram account you have connected, as well as which plan you're subscribed to.

Feature Available on which plans Instagram Personal Profile Instagram Business Account
Reminders All plans
Direct Scheduling All plans  
Tagging users in images Pro, Premium, Business  
Adding first comments Pro, Premium, Business  
Hashtag Manager Premium, Business  
Stories Scheduling Premium, Business 
Shop Grid Premium, Business 
Post statistics Pro, Premium, Business  

Keen to switch to a Business Account? Learn how here!

How to identify what type of account you currently have

Unsure which types of Instagram account you have? Open the Instagram app on your mobile device and head to Settings. From there, tap Account. Here's what you will see at the bottom of the list of options, depending on your current account type:

  • If you currently have an Instagram Personal Profile, you'll see one option:
    • Switch to Professional account
  • If you currently have an Instagram Business Account, you'll see two options:
    • Switch to Personal account
    • Switch to Creator Account
  • If you currently have an Instagram Creator Account, you'll see one option:
    • Switch to Personal account
    • Switch to Business Account
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