Instagram announced three new features to its new Instagram Graph API.
- Content publishing - Post an image to Feed with or without a caption.
- Business discovery - Discover and read the profile info and media of other business profiles.
- Mentions - Read public media that a business has been photo tagged or @mentioned in. Post comments on a business' behalf on media it was tagged or mentioned in.
Most notably, content publishing is the key news to this update. Since its inception, Instagram has been mostly true to its name--posts in real-time rather than pre-scheduled content like on Facebook and Twitter. Marketers have longed for a similar feature for Instagram.
In the past few years, tools like Hootsuite, Later, Sprout Social and Falcon.io, among others, have offered users the ability to schedule content, but with the caveat that these tools would only send a notification to an end user on their mobile device as a reminder to ultimately press "post" manually.
Today's announcement takes things a step further. Facebook Marketing Partners and Instagram Partners now have the ability to offer direct posting--call it a "set it and forget it" feature. In just a few short hours since the announcement, Hootsuite, Falcon.io, Sprout Social and Spredfast have all announced the integration of the new feature into their platforms. More will certainly follow.
A pain point for social media managers and digital marketers can often be finding ways to efficiently post consistently on all platforms. This new feature represents a major time-saver for day-to-day operation and opens up the potential for more consistent, timely posting by high quality business pages. This also eliminates any concerns marketers may have in enlisting third parties that have advertised such a service in the past, which was against Instagram's policies and could result in a page being shut down if enlisting such a service.
So is there a catch? Yes--if you want to take advantage of these features, you have to have one of these paid services. For the relative cost, it's a no-brainer.