Hootsuite users can now schedule and publish Instagram posts

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      For years, Instagram has prevented account holders from organizing and broadcasting posts ahead of time. Today (January 30), Vancouver social media management company Hootsuite has announced that it will be the first platform to allow users to release content automatically.

      “Historically, individuals were only able to publish Instagram posts in ‘realtime’, which did not satisfy the needs of many businesses,” Jeremy Wood, VP of product marketing at Hootsuite, tells the Straight. “With this announcement, our customers are not only able to publish securely but also to schedule their posts to go live at any time. This allows users to schedule posts at times that align to their business objectives, day or night. We’re excited to bring these features to Hootsuite clients.”

      The development has been made possible through an update to Instagram’s API. In the past, users had been able to pre-create a post and save it as a draft. Hootsuite could send out a push notification at a specified time, but the content would only be published if an individual entered the Instagram app, and manually triggered its release. Now, users can program posts for Instagram, and Hootsuite will share them at the selected time.

      “Scheduling and publishing of Instagram content has been the number one request for our 16 million customers,” says Ryan Holmes, CEO of Hootsuite, in a statement. “Now, they can manage large volumes of content, multiple team members, and multiple Instagram accounts with ease and security. Hootsuite is excited to launch our new integration with Instagram to help our customers achieve their business goals and succeed with social.”

      Companies like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ all have auto-scheduling technology enabled. With its new Instagram integration, Hootsuite has created a dashboard that will allow users to pre-arrange posts across all networks at once.

      Hootsuite is the most widely-used social media management tool in the world, and Instagram has proven to be the fastest growing social network on the company’s platform. More than two million photos and videos are shared on the app every month via Hootsuite.

      “As Instagram grows it continues to put the highest priority into preserving their consumer experience,” says Wood. “We worked hard with the company to ensure that any direct publishing solution for businesses would yield the best experience possible.”

      The new feature is only available for registered Instagram business profiles, but it’s likely to roll out to personal accounts in the future.

      Follow Kate Wilson on Twitter @KateWilsonSays