Instagram has switched on its advertising API (application programming interface), in a move that, according to Business Insider, “will almost immediately transform it into a major mobile advertising business” rivaling the likes of Google and Twitter.
Initial reports have suggested the move would allow marketers to buy ads and plan their marketing on the platform in a more automated fashion. But, some third parties like Hootsuite have gone a bit further, claiming to “Publish posts to Instagram immediately or schedule them to publish at a later time”.
Hootsuite, along with launch partners Salesforce Marketing, Unified and SocialCode, among others, have announced they’re introducing Instagram features to their existing platforms. However Hootsuite’s use of the term “scheduling” is a stretch at best.
The ability to schedule and publish to Instagram has been one of the most requested features by users for years now, but while the open API is a step in the right direction, it’s important not to be misled and believe this hotly demanded solution has finally arrived on your dashboard.
Due to Instagram’s terms and conditions which prevent uploading via an API, third party apps like Hootsuite and Salesforce Marketing Cloud remain unable to post directly to the service without infringing on the company’s T&C’s. Which means that the “scheduling” feature Hootsuite is promoting, is little more than a reminder to post using the Instagram app.
Hootsuite will carry over the photo you’ve pre-loaded in its app when taking action on the reminder, but it’s fair to say this is not what one would expect from the claims they make in the email below.
What apps like Hootsuite are offering, however, are simple tools to make it easier to manage multiple Instagram accounts in the one place, including on the desktop. Allowing third parties to add even some Instagram features is a step in the right direction, and it makes life that little bit easier for marketers.
But just don’t be misled into thinking this is the entirety of the solution you’ve been waiting for. It’s really just the start.