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.
In order for us to send your posts automatically, your Instagram account will need to be a Business Account and you'll need to have Direct Scheduling enabled. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to get set up! Additionally, you'll need to be sending posts that meet the criteria for Direct Scheduling.
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. If you've never worked with Reminders, here's a great guide to get you started.
This article contains the following sections:
Your Direct Scheduling checklist
There are a few factors that affect whether or not your post is sent out automatically, so we've created this checklist to help you identify any missing pieces and make sure you've got everything in place.
Do you have an Instagram Business Account and are you set up with Direct Scheduling? If you've set up Direct Scheduling successfully, you will no longer see an invitation to set up Direct Scheduling at the top of your Instagram Queue. If you do see this invitation, you'll want to follow the steps in this guide to get thing set up correctly.
Does your post contain only a single image or single video? A post with multiple images will be sent to your mobile device as a reminder.
Does your image or video meet the aspect ratio and video length requirements? Instagram only allows us to send images and videos automatically if they meet the following size requirements.
Aspect ratio range Aspect ratio range as numerical values Image Between 4:5 and 1.91:1 Between 0.8 and 1.91 Video Between 4:5 and 16:9 Between 0.8 and 1.78
All other posts will be sent to your mobile device as a reminder. See our detailed aspect ratio guide for more information.
When you are composing your post and you've added your video or image, we will alert you if the media is falling outside of the required aspect ratio or video length requirement. Once your post has been scheduled, you'll see a bell icon and an alert to let you know that the post has been scheduled as a reminder.
Do you have the "Set Instagram Reminder for all posts" setting turned on for your Instagram account? If this is turned on, all Instagram posts will be scheduled as reminders. To turn the setting off, select your Instagram account on the left hand side of your dashboard. Click on Settings and make sure the General tab is selected. From there, make sure "Set Instagram Reminders for all posts" is not set to Reminders only.
Did you have any posts scheduled before you set up Direct Scheduling? Any posts scheduled in your Queue before the switch will still be scheduled and sent out as reminders. If you'd like them to go out automatically, and they meet the aspect/video size requirements, you can recreate the posts and reschedule them in the Queue.
Where to find posts that didn't publish automatically
If your post was scheduled as a Reminder post, you will find it in the Past Reminders tab. From here, you can send the post to your mobile device to finish it up in the Instagram app and post it manually. You can also share the post again from this tab.