Connecting your Instagram account and enabling Direct Scheduling

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. Learn more about the differences here.

This article contains the following sections:

  1. Connecting your Instagram Business Profile
  2. Connecting your Instagram Personal Account
  3. Enabling Direct Scheduling

Unsure which type of Instagram account you have? Please check out this guide!

Connecting your Instagram Business Profile

After connecting your Instagram Business Profile, you will be able to use Direct Scheduling to publish posts automatically to Instagram. In order to successfully connect your Instagram Business Profile, it will need to be linked with a Facebook Page. Learn more about converting your Instagram account to a Business Profile here.

  1. Click Manage Social Accounts at the bottom left hand of your dashboard. From there, click Add a New Social Account.

  2. Click Instagram Business.

  3. Enter your Facebook login credentials and click Login. (If you're already signed into Facebook, you'll just need to enter your password and click Continue.)

    You will need to be logging into your personal Facebook Profile that has the Admin Role on the Facebook page connected to your Instagram account. If you log into a Facebook Profile that does not have the Admin Role on the Page, you will not see your Instagram Business Profile listed in the next step.

  4. You'll need to authorize Buffer to access your Facebook account. Click Continue as [name] and then click OK on the next prompt. (You won't see these steps if you already have another Facebook or Instagram account connected to Publish that was authorized through the same Facebook personal profile.)

    You'll notice here an option to "Choose what you allow". This option is required to be shown in this step due to Facebook's guidelines, but modifying any of the permissions here will mean that we are not able to authenticate with Facebook and it will not be possible to connect your Instagram account.

  5. Click on the Instagram Business Profile you'd like to connect and click Connect to Buffer.

    If you don't see your Instagram Business Profile listed, please hop over to our troubleshooting guide here.

Connecting your Instagram Personal Account

After connecting your Instagram Personal Account, you will be able to use Reminders to receive an alert to your phone when it's time for your post to be published. You will have the option to convert your Instagram account to a Business Profile and then set up Direct Scheduling later if you wish.

  1. Click Manage Social Accounts at the bottom left hand of your dashboard. From there, click Add a New Social Account.

  2. Click Instagram Personal.

  3. Enter your Instagram login credentials and click Log In. (If you're already signed into Instagram, or your login credentials are saved within your browser, you'll just need to click Continue.)

  4. You must enable push reminders so we can send an alert to your phone when it's time for your post to be published. If you don't already have it, download the Buffer mobile app either from the App Store on iOS or the Google Play Store on Android.

  5. Log into your Publish account on the mobile app and tap the alert at the top of the screen to enable push notifications and then tap Allow.

  6. Back in the Publish dashboard, click I've enabled Push Reminders.

  7. Finally, click Go to dashboard.

Enabling Direct Scheduling

  1. If you've just connected your Instagram Personal Account and set up Reminders, you'll see a popup asking if you'd like to set up Direct Scheduling. If your Instagram account was previously connected and you'd like to set up Direct Scheduling now, you can get to this step by selecting your Instagram account on the left hand side of your dashboard (if it's not already selected). You'll notice a blue message at the top of your Queue. Click Set up Instagram Direct Scheduling.

    In order to use Direct Scheduling, your Instagram account needs to be a Business Profile. If your Instagram account is already a Business Profile, click Yes! Let's do it!.

    If your Instagram account is currently a Personal Account, you'll need to convert it to a Business Profile, following the steps here. Once your Instagram account has been converted to a Business Profile, click I've Converted It to Business.

    If you see an error stating "It seems you still don't have a Business Profile", please hop over to our troubleshooting guide here.

  2. Facebook requires Instagram Business Profiles to be connected to a Facebook Page, and therefore we need to authenticate your Instagram account through Facebook. Click Continue & Authenticate with Facebook.

  3. Enter your Facebook login credentials and click Log In. (If you're already signed into Facebook, you'll just need to enter your password and click Continue.)

    You will need to be logging into your personal Facebook Profile that has the Admin Role on the Facebook page connected to your Instagram account. If you log into a Facebook Profile that does not have the Admin Role on the Page, it will not be possible to enable Direct Scheduling and you'll see an error.

  4. You'll need to authorize Buffer to access your Facebook account. Click Continue as [name] and then click OK on the next prompt. (You won't see these steps if you already have another Facebook or Instagram account connected to Publish that was authorized through the same Facebook personal profile.)

    You'll notice here an option to "Choose what you allow". This option is required to be shown in this step due to Facebook's guidelines, but modifying any of the permissions here will mean that we are not able to authenticate with Facebook and it will not be possible to enable Direct Scheduling.

  5. You're all set! Click Finish and return to your dashboard.

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