[Publish] Scheduling your Instagram posts

Summary

Unlike other social networks like Twitter and Facebook, Instagram only allow third party apps to publish posts automatically on behalf of users under specific conditions. Therefore, Buffer Publish offers two ways of posting to Instagram: Direct Scheduling and Reminders.

Scheduling Instagram posts works identically for both, but the type of Instagram Profile you're sharing to (Personal Account or Business Profile), as well as the type of content you're sharing (single image, multiple images, or video), will determine whether the post is shared automatically or scheduled as a reminder. Learn more here.

Scheduling your Instagram posts

Select your Instagram account on the left hand side of your dashboard and then click inside the box at the top of your Queue to open the composer.

Start by uploading an image or video, and then type in, or copy and paste the caption you'd like to use. You're able to include up to 30 hashtags in your caption, and these will be hyperlinked once the post has been published to Instagram. If you have an Instagram Business Profile, and Direct Scheduling has been enabled, you'll also be able to choose a location.

The type of Instagram Profile you're sharing to (Personal Account or Business Profile), as well as the type of content you're sharing (single image, multiple images, or video), will determine whether the post is shared automatically or scheduled as a reminder. Whenever you're scheduling a post, we'll let you know if it's going to be scheduled as a reminder.

Notes:

  • Images and videos must be within Instagram's accepted aspect ratio range (between 4:5 and 1.91:1 for images and between 4:5 and 16:9 for videos), in order to be published automatically. If the image or video falls outside of this range, the post will be scheduled as a reminder instead.
  • Videos must at least 3 seconds and less than 60 seconds. If your video is not within this range, you'll see a message letting you know. You'll need to adjust the video and then re-upload it.

Once your post is ready, you'll have a few scheduling options, described below.

  • Add to Queue (default): Your post will be added to the next available time slot from your Posting Schedule. Depending on the type of post, it will either be published automatically at the right time, or you'll receive a reminder to your phone at that time.
  • Share Next: Your post will be saved at the top of your Queue and be the next one to be published. Other posts in your Queue will be bumped down one time slot. This option is only available on our Pro and Business Plans.
  • Share Now: Your post will be published immediately, essentially skipping the Queue. If the post is scheduled as a reminder, the notification will come through to your phone right away.
  • Schedule Post: You will be able to choose a custom date and time in the future for the post to be shared.

If your post was scheduled as a Reminder, you'll see a bell icon in the Queue. At the time the post is due to be published, the reminder will be sent as a push notification to your phone. For guidance on notifications and posting, please refer to this guide.