[Publish] Connecting your Instagram account and setting up Direct Scheduling

Please ensure you take the time to follow this guide carefully, as there are some crucial steps to cover in order to get things up and running successfully. If you run into any issues, please refer to our troubleshooting guide.

Summary Connecting your Instagram account
Setting up Direct Scheduling


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 about Direct Scheduling vs Reminders here.

The first step is to get your Instagram account connected, with Reminders enabled. The second step, if you wish to have posts published automatically, is to set up Direct Scheduling. Please note that in order to use Direct Scheduling, you will need to convert your Instagram account to a Business Profile (if it isn't already).

Please note, only Instagram Personal Accounts and Business Profiles can be connected to Buffer Publish. Instagram Creator Accounts do not currently have an API connection for third party tools, which means we're not able to connect, schedule, or share posts to those accounts. In order to connect your Instagram account to Buffer Publish, it will either need to be a Personal Account, allowing you to use Reminders, or a Business Profile, allowing you to use Direct Scheduling.

Connecting your Instagram account


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


Enter your Instagram username and password and click Log in.


Before setting up Direct Scheduling, you must set up Reminders, so that we can send an alert to your phone if a post can't be published automatically.

If you don't already have it, download the Buffer mobile app on either from the App Store on iOS or the Google Play Store on Android. Log into your Buffer Publish account on the mobile app. Tap the alert at the top of the screen to enable push notifications and then tap Allow.

Once you've done that, click I've Enabled Push Notifications.


You're all set with Instagram Reminders! Click Go to dashboard.

Setting up Direct Scheduling


If you've just connected your Instagram 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, like this.

In order to use Direct Scheduling, you will need to convert your Instagram account to a Business Profile. If your Instagram account is already converted to a Business Profile, click Yeah, let's do it and then skip to step 2.

If your Instagram account is currently a Personal Account, you'll need to convert it to a Business Profile. It’s possible to convert your Instagram account to a Business Profile either via the Instagram mobile app, or via Facebook.

It is imperative that a Facebook Page is linked to your Instagram Business Profile in order to use Direct Scheduling. Therefore, we recommend converting via Facebook, since this guarantees that a Facebook Page will be correctly connected to your Instagram account, whereas we have found some users to run into hiccups getting a Facebook Page connected to their Instagram account when converting via the Instagram mobile app.

Convert your Instagram account via Facebook (recommended) >>

  • Head over to Facebook and navigate to the Page that you would like to be connected to your Instagram Business Profile.
  • Click Settings at the top of the Page and then click Instagram on the left hand side.
  • Click Log In towards the top of the screen (screenshot here).
  • Enter your Instagram username and password.
  • You'll see a pop up window prompting you to set up your Instagram Business Profile (screenshot here). Follow the on-screen instructions. If you've dismissed the pop up window, click Get Started to the right of "Switch to a business profile" (screenshot here), and then follow the on-screen instructions.

Convert your Instagram account via the Instagram mobile app >>

  • Open the Instagram app on your mobile device and navigate to Settings.
  • Tap Account.
  • Tap Switch to Business Profile.
  • Follow the on-screen prompts, ensuring you select a Facebook Page to link to your Instagram account.
  • Tap Done.

Once your Instagram account has been converted to a Business Profile, click I've converted it to Business.


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.


Enter your Facebook username and 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 connect your Instagram account and you'll see an error.


You'll need to authorize Buffer to access your Facebook account. Click OK to confirm.


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 your Instagram account will not be connected and you'll see an error.


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

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