Some excellent Instagram Scheduling apps have finally started popping up. I was primarily using Buffer before since it also managed Twitter and Facebook. But I think as Instagram emerges as one of the premiere social platforms it's worthy of using dedicated apps to manage and schedule your Instagram posts.
In this post I will review the 5 best Instagram scheduling apps currently available as of May 2017. If you think I missed one or a new one has emerged then please leave a comment and I will review and add it. All five of these apps are available on iOS and Android. I wasn't paid to endorse any of the products this is just my opinion from my own experience with the apps.
1. Buffer App
Let's just start with what has been a dominant app in the social media scheduling game. The best thing Buffer has going for it is the ability to work on a laptop or desktop as well as in the mobile app.
The interface on buffer is solid and offers a lot for a freemium app. If you need multiple accounts per platform then you'll need a business account. But if you just need your own brand then this is a great starting place.
Buffer has the option to preview the feed but only in a paid account. It has a nice repost feature as well. Copy any Instagram share link and just open Buffer and it compose a new post.
The truth is I'm a bit sad to learn that buffer is falling behind a bit on the Instagram front. I've been using Buffer exclusively for the past year but when I decided to look at some new options I was surprised what had emerged as better Instagram scheduling apps.
I still think buffer is great and is a nice alternative to Hootsuite if you are managing a lot of accounts. I think it serves small agencies really well or someone who has personal and business accounts to run on multiple platforms (Facebook, Twitter and IG for instance).
2. Later App
Later is from my hometown Vancouver so I always try to give it a chance as they continue to update.
The newest feature they have added is the ‘save to camera roll' feature for old media so you can bring it into your Instagram stories following the 24 hour rule.
But one thing I'm always worried about for Later is that their app is just some features, I'm not sure it's novel enough at this point.
They were one of the early winners to be scheduling Instagram photos but because it could never be done without manual posting it was never a must-have app.
It has some nice options for hashtag storage and curation. It also allows multiple accounts and a semi-live feed preview. You can view upcoming posts but you can't drag and drop.
3. Preview App
Preview does what it claims to do really well. It helps you preview upcoming photos in context of your already posted photos. You can drag and drop to get your feed looking perfect.
Scheduling, editing and writing captions is a breeze in this app as well. I have to say its very nice. There is some very nice hashtag storage for this app as well. No analytics though or ability to re-save to camera roll like in Later.
I think this is a very good free app. Highly recommend this one for no-budget grinders.
4. UNUM App
UNUM is very similar to preview with respect to preparing your feed and previewing upcoming posts in a feed. You can easily add multi accounts. It has a solid analytics offering as well as the ability to quickly add hashtags and usernames from recent posts.
Pretty solid app with a lot of features. There is a limit to the number of monthly posts but it's quite high. No reposting available with this app yet
5. Planoly App
Okay this is a boss Instagram Scheduling App. I was blown away at all of the features. However, it isn't cheap. It's $12.99 a month! That seems like a lot for a social media app, and it is compared to what else we've seen, but I think it might actually be worth it. Let's look at the killer feature set.
In the main dashboard, you can see your entire feed with or without the scheduled posts. You can also see additional posts that are not yet scheduled but added to your media.
It has some mega features not available anywhere else:
A beautiful calendar view that shows posts of the highlighted day with basic analytics.
There is a full featured analytics set that is just gorgeous. Sort by week, month or year. Observe week to week stats.
It has complete IG story planning.
There are some amazing options when importing media. You can pull from albums as usual but you can also pull from either dropbox or google drive which is massive. Being able to store all images in a single place is great. It also has placeholder images and a discover option.
The discover option is crazy. It helps you find photos to repost via hashtags or users, all keyword based. Add photos from the Instagram search instantly to your upcoming posts. This is very big for people doing a lot of reposting and need help finding content.
I am strongly going to consider getting this app for myself. It's only $10/month if you buy 3 months which I think is very reasonable considering the power available to this app.
But I know there are a lot of people who will not at all be interested in a paid app. The free version is okay but a bit limited as you can only upload 30 photos.
So Which are the Best Instagram Scheduling Apps in 2017?
Here is a chart to show the break down of the apps:
If you have a budget for tools then Planoly by a long shot. I think it's a great app.
If you want to go free then Buffer would be my pick if you use Twitter and Facebook. If you just need Instagram then I would get Preview or UNUM. I think preview is really clean and user-friendly.