5 Reason Instagram Will Never Allow Automated Posts (+ Options To Hack It)
Scheduling automated Instagram posts may be one of the most requested features for many social media managers, however it will never be more than a dream feature. Sorry to sound so negative from the beginning but it had to be said. Although I can not precisely predict the future, this seems like something we all can be sure of. Also if they just introduced multiple accounts from a single device after five years we can expect official support for scheduled posts to come in another five.
Admittedly it would be great to be able to schedule the perfect picture and move on with your day like on Twitter or Facebook. But there are many reasons why Instagram will never allow that and surprisingly it will be good for all of us in the long run.
1) Be Here & Now
First and foremost Instagram is a place for sharing personal experiences. Their corporate motto is fittingly “Capture and Share the World’s Moments.” It started with that mindset and has shaped the entire platform. Living in a visual moment of another person is a significant draw to Instagram compared to other social networks. Some even have called it technology’s window to the soul. And with scheduled posts the whole mystique would be gone.
Scheduled posts would not ruin the entire allure of Instagram but it would never be the same. Now when you see a post there would be a question of when did this actually happen. So instead of living in the moment Instagram users would be living in a fabricated moment.
Even in our study of How Billion Dollar Companies Use Social Media we found that a majority of brand accounts were not used for promoting a product. Most were instead used to show off the company or employees in a moment. So instead of using it to sell a product they sold their brand and experiences.
2) Ads Are Too Profitable
What do ad profits have to do with scheduling posts you may ask. Well they are extremely intertwined, especially on Instagram. Think of their ads as a “Pay to Play” version of scheduling posts and it all starts to come together.
And after posting mobile ad revenues topping $595 million this year they will not be changing that formula anytime soon. They also were able to attract 2.5 million brands to the ad platform over the last year. Honestly, it is the closest we are going to get to having any control on who, when and in what context people will see our posts. Well… outside of truly posting.
3) Lack of REAL Demand
Sorry to burst your bubble but marketing professionals, brands and social media managers do not make up that much of Instagram’s user base. After quadrupling the stat above to conservatively estimate how many brands use Instagram we are still left with a tiny portion.
With 400 million monthly users, the “estimated” 10 million official brand pages only make up 0.25% of users. Quadrupling again still only gets us to 1% of the total user base. However not every brand would even want scheduling or automated posts. That is nowhere near enough real demand to make a decision that would change the entire user experience of Instagram.
4) SPAM, SPAM, SPAM
Instagram already suffers from the spam and fake account problem that plagues every social network. But it could be a lot worse, for an example look towards Twitter. Some very conservative estimates say that bots and spam make up around 5% of all Twitter accounts. Most of it are simple automated likes and follows based on hashtags, which Instagram also experiences.
The harmful spam involves sharing the same link, content or Tweet hundreds of times across even more accounts. It gums up your timeline, could be malicious and leads to a bad overall user experience. These types of Tweets can be queued up with some less than honest methods, and are rarely shut down by Twitter.
One of the main reason this has not made it over to Instagram is the hassle of posting. Each post has to be physically posted or face the wrath of the banhammer if any outside tools are used. Their Terms & Conditions are explicit in prohibiting spam and they take it extremely seriously. With scheduled posting this safeguard would be gone and spam would reign free. There would be posts going out faster than they could ban the accounts.
5) Mobile Over Everything
Instagram is the only mobile-first social network, other than Snapchat, and they are happy with that. Looking back at their motto you will see the higher ups have no intention of allowing posts from desktops or tablets. Nor should they ruin the core experience f0r a few thousand social media managers or brands. It was built for, thrived on and fits perfectly on a mobile device. So why change?
They only recently released an official option to view posts on desktops. And to fully embrace scheduled post they would have to allow desktop posts. No one wants to schedule a weeks worth of posts from their phone, it is almost easier just to skip it. Even the “scheduling” apps that we will cover below recommend using the desktop version. Until we see the ability to post from desktops become a reality, sadly we will never see scheduled posts.
Bonus: Options To Hack It
Here at The Broadsheet we are problem solvers, so do not fret. We have found a few options to get as close to automated post as you can. Although they all still require you to physically post content it is a start. Or you can take your chances with the unofficial tools but be warned those bring the banhammer immediately.
Latergramme is a leading platform for helping social media users manage their visual content and is the safest, most convenient way to schedule and manage your Instagram photos. With clean and easy to use web and mobile apps Latergramme provides an effective visual social media marketing solution at the swipe of your fingers.
Schedule and publish content directly to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ all at once from a single dashboard, and engage with your followers across your social networks.