I was SO excited when I updated Hootsuite on my phone and saw that the update included a new integration with Instagram, which would allow me to post to Instagram from Hootsuite, but more importantly, to schedule Instagrams in advance!! There are many features I wish Instagram had, and one of them is being able to schedule photos in advance. The wonderful people over at Eli Rose recently wrote a post about why Instagram is awesome and terrible, and I agree with all of their points. So you can see why I was so excited to see this new Hootsuite update!
I started playing around with how this would work (Do I have to filter the photo before scheduling it through Hootsuite? Would the Instagram handles transfer correctly?). I quickly found out that this isn’t the update I was hoping for.
Here’s how it works. In Hootsuite, import your Instagram account(s) like you would any other social media account. You must also have Hootsuite and Instagram on your mobile device, and make sure that you’ve successfully imported the correct accounts on the desktop version and the mobile version. Or, you can just use the mobile version.
As you can see in the desktop version, you have the ability to comment on photos through Hootsuite, without having to go into Instagram on your mobile device or logging into the browser version.
When you’re ready, compose your message like you would any other message. Type your content with handles and hashtags, then add the unfiltered image that you want to share to Instagram.
Like other posts in Hootsuite, you can share immediately, or you can schedule for later. For the purposes of this post, I shared immediately. Once I did, I got the success message on Hootsuite and then received a notification on my phone that the post was ready to go.
From there, Hootsuite mobile walked me through the steps to post the photo to Instagram. Here’s where I started to get disappointed with this new integration. Hootsuite doesn’t post it to Instagram for you. All Hootsuite does is allow you to “schedule it in advance”, which lets you choose the photo you want to share and write out your content in advance. When the time comes to actually post the photo, you still have to walk through all of the steps on Instagram to actually post the photo, at the actual time that you want to post it. See below.
When you click “Open in Instagram”, your mobile device copies your caption text to the clipboard, which you later paste into your caption on Instagram.
So as you can see, Hootsuite will let you pre-choose your photo and write your text, but it ends up being more of a reminder to share your photo rather than an actual scheduling in advance feature. I won’t use the Hootsuite integration to post a photo immediately to Instagram, but I might use it as a reminder to share a photo later. Some days I forget to share something because life gets in the way, so this might be helpful to get me to sit down for 3 minutes to share that photo because most of the work has been done in advance.
Either way, this is a step in the right direction! It’s not perfect, but it’s getting there. What do you think?