Instagram is quite a locked-down social network in comparison with Facebook and Twitter. It still does not permit third-party posting. However, in spite of this Hootsuite has recently added some new Instagram Integration features, including a work-around for scheduling, in addition to some notifications for publishing from mobiles.
Instagram is a great social network for marketers who want to reach young, aspirational users, but it has never been a particularly easy social network for marketing teams to manage. It was designed from day one to be a mobile-only network, and the desktop version of the platform has always been rather less feature-rich, and slower to be developed. The platform has also resisted the use of third-party tools.
Hootsuite is clearly trying to address these issues and has rolled out an Instagram integration feature that allows users of the platform to take advantage of a number of time-saving tools and options. For example, users will be able to share access to their Instagram accounts with team members; monitor activity on the account; respond to comments; and generally engage with other users. They will find it easier to cross-promote their activity between Facebook and Twitter.
Hootsuite believes that the integration will help to make the social media management workflow more efficient. There will no longer be a requirement for marketers to switch between their phones and computers in order to track their social media campaigns. In one window, users will be able to engage with followers across all of the major social media platforms.
Instagram’s terms and conditions expressly prohibit third party posting, but Hootsuite has managed to come up with a work-around that is similar to the one implemented by Lategram. This work-around uses a reminder system. Users schedule posts by uploading the photo and setting the caption. When it is time for the scheduled post to go live, the Instagram app will issue a push notification which will be received on the user’s mobile, and tapping that notification will open up Instagram on their device, with the photo and its caption pre-set and ready to go.
This is hardly a seamless way of doing things, but it is still a significant time saver and it is the best that can be reasonably achieved given the restrictions that Instagram has placed upon the developers of third party tools. If enough tools start using work-arounds, then this may perhaps change in the future.