For the first time since Instagram was launched in 2010, users have a native way of scheduling pictures and videos in advance thanks to an update to the Facebook Creator Studio, which is now being rolled out to all users.
Until now, social media managers at the helm of their company’s Instagram accounts have had to rely on third party tools, such as Hootsuite and Buffer, to schedule content – albeit with some limitations.
The new update lets you schedule posts to Instagram – both photos and videos (the latter was not possible using other tools) – while cutting out the middleman.
This prompts an important question: is it worth forking out large amounts of money for third party schedulers or can we now simply rely on proprietary tools like Facebook’s to do the same job as well if not better?
The answer comes down to – as many things do in social media – the needs of the organisation. Using just Facebook and Instagram? Great. Everything is now is one, convenient, free place. Using LinkedIn too? Not so simple. There is still no native way to schedule LinkedIn posts, so you still need a third party tool there.
The crux of the matter, in my opinion, comes down to this: how much is the price of convenience?
If you’re a big company running the full range of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, getting one post scheduled across all four platforms can easily take you upwards of five minutes, as you have to try and navigate your way through several different systems for scheduling content. Now let’s say you’ve got a month’s worth of content needing scheduled – suddenly you have a big time commitment on your hands.
The third party scheduling tools allow you to post and schedule content for all of your accounts, in one place, using a common system. Some of the more expensive options even allow you to track conversations and analytics through them as well, so absolutely everything is in one place. If you’ve got multiple accounts and many posts to schedule, there is still enormous potential for these tools to save lots of time.
As the world of social media constantly evolves, so must the tools we use for keeping on top of it. It remains to be seen how companies will respond to the rollout of free Instagram scheduling. Will they stick with the third party tools they’ve been working with, or is the convenience no longer worth the price?
Social Media Executive