Discontinuing support for Instagram personal profiles

From August 24, 2020, it is no longer possible to connect Instagram personal profiles to Publish. This change was partly necessitated by upcoming changes to Instagram as they focus their efforts on supporting professional accounts. It’s also a proactive decision we made to deliver a better experience for Instagram users across our products. It is still possible to connect Instagram business accounts to Publish.

We will continue supporting Instagram personal profiles that are already connected until October, 2020. Before that date, we encourage you to convert your personal profile to a business account to ensure uninterrupted service. If you choose not to convert, your personal profile will be removed from your account in October. We’ll send you a few reminder emails before then, but we’d recommend taking these steps as soon as you can.

Whilst these steps should only take a few minutes, it's not uncommon to run into permissions issues with Instagram and/or Facebook, so we recommend following these steps carefully as soon as you can. You will need to convert your Instagram personal profile to a business account AND set up direct scheduling within Publish.

📝 Please note, if you already have an Instagram business account but direct scheduling isn't set up, we won't be able to recognize it as a business account. In this case, you'll just need to jump to the steps on setting up direct scheduling here.

This article contains the following sections:

  1. Video walkthrough
  2. Converting to a business account
  3. Setting up direct scheduling
  4. Errors you might come across

Video walkthrough

In the video below, Katie, from our Customer Advocacy team, will walk you through the changes you need to make, step-by-step. Follow along with her there, or alternatively, check out the written steps further down.

Converting to a business account

Instagram business accounts are required to have a Facebook page associated to them. Whilst it's possible to convert to a business account in the Instagram app, we recommend doing this via Facebook to ensure a page is correctly associated to the account.

  1. Head over to Facebook and navigate to the list of pages you have access to (or click this link). Click on the page that you'll associate with your Instagram account, or create a new page if you don't already have one.

    📝 You must be an Admin on the page you're associating to your Instagram business account.

  2. Once you're in your page, click Settings in the left hand sidebar.

  3. Click Instagram on the left hand side and then click Connect Account towards the top of the screen.

  4. 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.)

  5. You'll see a pop up window prompting you to set up your Instagram business account. Follow the on-screen instructions, ensuring you enter your contact info, and then click Done. Once you have completed these steps, please be sure to move to the section below to set up direct scheduling.

    ⚠️ If you don't see the pop up window as shown in the image above, click Get Started towards the top of the Page. If you don't see the Get Started prompt either, you can try converting via the Instagram app instead, following the steps here.

    Setting up direct scheduling

    Now that your Instagram account has been converted to a business account, you can set up direct scheduling in Publish. This step is required in order for Buffer to recognize your Instagram account as a business account. If you want to continue using reminders and not have any posts published automatically, you can disable direct scheduling anytime later following these steps.

    1. Select your Instagram account on the left hand side of your dashboard. You'll notice a blue message at the top of your queue. Click Set up Instagram Direct Scheduling.

    2. You should have converted to a business account in the previous steps, so go ahead and click Yes! Let's do it!.

      ⚠️ If you see a prompt to click I’ve Converted It to Business, your account is likely still a personal profile. In that case, please convert following the earlier steps, and then click that prompt to progress to the next step.

      If you see an error stating "Oops! It looks like the account needs some addition setup", it means that either your Instagram account has not been properly converted to a business account, or a Facebook page has not been properly connected to your Instagram account. In this case, please jump to these steps in our troubleshooting guide.

      If you’ve confirmed that the Instagram account has been properly converted to be a business account with a Facebook page connected, and you're still hitting this error, please try going to Manage Social Accounts and then clicking Reconnect next to your Instagram account. After you've clicked Authorize, try clicking Set up Instagram Direct Scheduling from the blue banner in your queue again.

    3. Facebook requires Instagram business accounts to be connected to a Facebook page, and therefore we need to authenticate your Instagram account through Facebook. Click Continue & Authenticate with Facebook.

    4. 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 set up direct scheduling and you'll see an error.

      ⚠️ If you see an error stating that we had trouble finding a Facebook page connected to your Instagram account, like this, it means a Facebook page has has not been properly connected to your Instagram account or you do not have the Admin role on the Facebook page. In this case, please jump to these steps in our troubleshooting guide.

    5. 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 set up direct scheduling.

      ⚠️ If you see an error stating that you "don't appear to have any Instagram profiles connected to that Facebook account", like this, it means that Facebook does not have the required permissions to authenticate the account. In this case, please jump to our guide on resolving this error.

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

    Errors you might come across

    Setting up direct scheduling can sometimes prove to be a little tricky due to the more complex nature of Instagram's API. The errors you might come across, and what they mean, are listed below.

    Error 1

    Oops! It looks like the account needs some addition setup before we can enable direct scheduling. Please refer to the guide in the banner.

    This error occurs after clicking I've Converted It to Business if:

    • Your Instagram account has not been properly converted to a business account, or
    • A Facebook page is not properly connected to your Instagram account

    Please see our troubleshooting guide here for steps to resolve.

    If you’ve confirmed that the Instagram account has been properly converted to be a business account with a Facebook page connected, and you're still hitting this error, please try going to Manage Social Accounts and then clicking Reconnect next to your Instagram account. After you've clicked Authorize, try clicking Set up Instagram Direct Scheduling from the blue banner in your queue again.

    Error 2

    Sorry! We had trouble finding the Facebook page connected to your @profile-name Instagram profile. Please try again, and double check you're signing in with the right Facebook account.

    This error occurs after entering your Facebook login credentials if:

    • A Facebook page is not properly connected to your Instagram account, or
    • You don't have the Admin role on the Facebook page that is connected to your Instagram account

    Please see our troubleshooting guide here for steps to resolve.

    Error 3

    Whoops, you don't appear to have any Instagram profiles connected to that Facebook account.

    This error occurs if you modify any permissions under the "Choose what you allow" section in Facebook when authorizing Buffer to access your Facebook account.

    Please see our troubleshooting guide here for steps to resolve.

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