Starting today, August 5, everyone who uses Hootsuite, the popular social media management tool, can prepare and schedule Instagram images from their Hootsuite dashboard. The capability to add Instagram to your dashboard will be rolled out over the course of the day. (So if you try right now, if it doesn't work, you may need to wait a few hours.) On Hootsuite's dashboard, you could already manage all the other major social media networks, and now you can also manage your Instagram account. Other apps that help schedule Instagram images, such as Latergramme and ScheduGram, only apply to Instagram.
There is a hitch though, according to Wendy Frink on Entrepreneur, "While you can get your posts ready through either the Hootsuite app or dashboard, you still need your phone handy to actually publish. According to an Instagram spokesperson, when your post is ready to be sent out, you will receive a push notification from the Hootsuite app directing you to the Notification Center. You then tap the post [on your phone], which will open in the Instagram app to publish."
It seems like this limitation is something that Instagram requires.
"I wish Instagram did not require users to publish the posts through Instagram. Scheduling can be great, but with Instragam 'scheduling' becomes more of a reminder to publish content," writes Kimberly Johnson in response to Hootsuite's announcement.
"This honestly just adds a step for me," writes Curtis Spear. "I could just set a reminder on my phone to remind me to do the post. I was excited about this at first but still waiting for a good scheduling tool."
Frisk points out that this isn't as seamless as many people would like. We can't entirely automate our Instagram posts quite yet. But maybe requiring a human touch has an upside; as brands, we'll need to put a little more thought and time into posting content.
Hootsuite suggests that now you can "set up streams to monitor your own Instagram posts, your scheduled posts, specific users or hashtags, locations, and more-all from the same Hootsuite dashboard you use to manage your other social networks."
Also, if you work with a team, and have Hootsuite Pro or Enterprise, everyone on your team can have access to shared Instagram profiles "without sharing passwords."
Hootsuite will also allow users to zoom in on Instagram images and re-share images from other social networks on Instagram.
Want to add Instagram into your Hootsuite dashboard right now? You can! Click on your "Profile Icon" in the launch menu and then "Add a Social Network."
A pop-up window will appear. Select "Instagram" and press "Connect with Instagram." Enter your credentials. Then authorize Hootsuite to access your account.
Pick the "Tab" you want to work with and select "Add Stream." Choose "Instagram" from your list of connected social networks and select your Instagram profile.
Now you can create Instagram streams in Hootsuite for your own posts, scheduled posts, etc.