Instagram Schedulers: A review of available tools

Instagram is a critical component for nearly all of our e-commerce clients. As social media managers juggle a diverse range of tasks, being able to “post on the go” has become equally important. This week  looked into a four different tools that allow social media managers to schedule their Instagram posts. For each of these tools, I’ll provide some basic information, including:

  • Sign-up process for each tool (including screenshots)
  • Scheduling process (including screenshots)
  • Cost of each service
  • Additional features included
  • Overall opinions of each option

TLDR: If you’re strictly interested in Instagram scheduling, I found Latergramme to be the simplest and most intuitive product. However, for a very marginal investment in time you can have access to a broad range of greater capabilities (at a comparable cost) by using Hootsuite – they provide significantly more functionality, the downside of which is that the Instagram scheduling process is just slightly more convoluted. While is the only option to actually post on your behalf, I found too many problems during sign-up and testing to recommend this as a tool

Article Background and Disclosures
My intent in writing this article was (1) to better understand for myself the options for our clients to schedule their posts to Instagram, and (2) to provide our clients with a resource to assist in streamlining their workflows through Instagram scheduling services.

In a survey of our clients, 57% of respondents said they are already using an Instagram scheduling service, while the remainder did not but were interested in learning more about their options. I do not have any affiliation with any of the services mentioned in this article. Our technology – StoryBox – heavily uses Instagram and we have a shoppable Instagram product – stylepick – so there is some self-serving interest in writing this article. We also offer additional services with our product that benefit from our clients increasing their usage of Instagram.

Three of the options reviewed in this article allow you to schedule an Instagram post, but they do not automatically post on your behalf. Instead, each of these apps send you a reminder on your mobile device, and simplify the process of posting to Instagram at that time. However, they require you to go through this process at the given time. One of them – – does post on your behalf, which is great if Instagram continues to allow it.

Our clients who use these services site two advantages to using an Instagram scheduling technology:

  1. Simplifying the publishing process – rather than composing and publishing a post on-the-fly, you can reduce this to a 4-8 click process to publish a pre-written post at a given time
  2. Planning ahead – many expressed that simply being able to think through their posts for the week in advance was a significant portion of the value of this sort of technology

Tools Reviewed

As part of my research I considered the following services:

  1. Latergramme
  2. Hootsuite
  3. ScheduGram
  4. DashHudson

(1) Latergramme

Sign-up Process: The sign-up process was very simple – fill out basic information on their website to create an account. In your account confirmation email, you receive a link to download the Latergramme app.

Scheduling an Instagram Post: Once I installed the app, I was taken through a basic overview and able to schedule my first post. Scheduling is intuitive – I pick the photo, write the caption and pick the date and time. At the scheduled time, I received a mobile notification, which opened the Latergramme app. Latergramme makes it simple to copy the text of my post, open the Instagram app, paste the caption, and post to Instagram. All-in it took me about 5 minutes to install the app and schedule my first post, and about 2 minutes to post to Instagram when I received notification that my scheduled time had arrived.

Here’s are screenshots I took showing all the steps I followed to get started and schedule my first post:

Other Features: I didn’t spend too much more time in the app or desktop interface, but it seemed very straightforward. You’re able to see a calendar with future posts – bare bones, but it works well and the lack of other features simplifies the learning curve.

Cost: Their free option is generous and their paid options make sense. Here are screenshots from their website to explain their pricing.

Latergramme Pricing 1

Latergramme Pricing 2

Overall: Currently, Latergramme is a single-use tool, which makes it ideal if you’re only looking to schedule Instagram posts. They’ve built a very intuitive user interface, and I’d have no problems using or recommending them.

(2) Hootsuite

Sign-up Process: It took me a matter of seconds to sign-up for and create my free Hootsuite account. It was also very simple for me to add my other social networks to my Hootsuite account. Since Hootsuite provides a LOT of functionality, the sign-up process was slightly more difficult than Latergramme, but still exceptionally easy (eg. I really liked Latergramme’s email to download their app – Hootsuite had me enter my phone number, but I never received a text to download their app. Instead, I just searched for and found it in the App store)

Scheduling an Instagram Post: Once I installed the app, I was taken through some basic orientation information. I also had to configure my notifications, which I didn’t have to do for Latergramme, but this was still easy enough (I imagine this is either there since they deal with more social networks, or because they’re anticipating and preventing potential problems that could arise out of notification settings). Since they deal with more social networks than just Instagram, there was an added step of choosing Instagram from the available social network options.  The scheduling process was simple (screenshots below), but my first attempt to post failed. I believe this is because they set a default schedule time ten minutes away, and I shortened this to just five minutes. It was frustrating though – I received an error message, and was unable to find a draft of my post on the web interface or mobile app. Not a whole lot of time wasted, but still it was a bit of a speed bump. My second attempt went flawlessly on the mobile app – at the scheduled time, I received a mobile notification. One point of frustration is that, unlike the Latergramme notification (which opened to the correct Latergramme app page when I clicked on the notification), the Hootsuite app opened to my settings page. I had to click around to find the notification within the app, and then I was able to copy the text of my post, open the Instagram app, paste the caption, and post to Instagram. Again – not a major issue, but it was a frustration point and added time (albeit seconds) to the process. All-in it took me about 7 minutes to install the app and schedule my first post, and about 4 minutes to post to Instagram when I received notification that my scheduled time had arrived.

Here’s are screenshots I took showing all the steps I followed to get started and schedule my first post:

Other Features: Yeah…not going there. It’s Hootsuite – I’m sure you can find a million articles explaining all their bells and whistles. This was the most common cited Instagram Scheduler for our clients, who benefit from using them for other social media related activities.

Cost: I’d be fine on the free plan. Their pricing for larger organizations is straight-forward and very reasonable. Here’s the screenshot from their website.

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 11.43.22 AM

Overall: The Instagram scheduling is straight-forward enough to use, and all the additional functionality around publishing to multiple social channels makes Hootsuite very appealing. For a comparable cost (if not free) to the other options, Hootsuite seems to be worth the added time to benefit from their broader feature set.

(3) ScheduGram

Sign-up Process: Although the site boasts a simple 7-day free trial, I found the sign-up process exceedingly frustrating – were I not researching this as an option for this article I would have abandoned their process twice while going through. The first is that they require a credit card for a trial of their product. It does not say this on their website, but it is very clear once you start the process. I went ahead and entered my credit card, only to reach the next hurdle. They require that each account be manually approved prior to being able to use their app or schedule a post. I’m not kidding. After your initial sign-up, you’re brought to a text-heavy page that explains their process – it may take up to 12 hours for them to review each application. I submitted my request on Thursday, 2/25 at 10:16AM PST. At 4:31pm PST I received a message saying I was approved…BUT, I needed to wait for them to run a “login check” to make sure everything is setup correctly. I then received an email saying that their authentication of my Instagram account had failed, and that I needed to login to Instagram to authenticate the app. At 9:00pm PST I tried again, but needed to validate one more time. The next morning at 7:30am PST I was able to get it to work. This was much more frustrating, especially after I had already sailed through the process for both Latergramme and Hootsuite. There were other minor flags along the way – they request your city, and have a dropdown that doesn’t include San Francisco. The dashboard has spelling and grammatical errors that made me worry that there may be more vaporware than actual ware here.

Scheduling an Instagram Post: Ok…for all my bashing about the sign-up process, I can see that is going further than both Hootsuite and Latergramme in that they are truly posting on your behalf. It seems like this is a violation of Instagram’s terms of use, so I’m not sure how long this will last, but they are the only company I’ve found who are truly posting for you. Screenshots of the scheduling process are included below – it’s not pretty, but intuitive enough. I like that they have an option to email you once the post go lives. At 8:10am PST I set a scheduled post time of 8:20am PST. The actual post went out at 8;32am PST – I don’t think that would matter to most people, and it may be because I set a scheduled time so close to my request time. While they’re UI is not great, they get props for being the only company to have cracked the code on creating a true “Fire and forget” Instagram scheduling service.

Here’s are screenshots I took showing all the steps I followed to get started and schedule my first post:

Other Features: They have the ability to see your scheduled messages, previous messages, and a Beta version of a calendar.

Cost:  Pricing is tiered based on (1) the number of Instagram accounts and (2) the size of your Instagram community. Here are screenshots of two options for pricing from their website:

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 12.48.15 PM

Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 12.48.30 PM

Overall: I guess I’m really torn on There are so many problems with the sign-up process and the website – that makes it hard to recommend their service. There’s also my fear (justified or unjustified) that Instagram is going to stop this process sooner or later. On the other hand, they are the only company who is truly allowing you to schedule your Instagram messages. In the end, I net out thinking that it seems like a very early version of what could be a promising product. We’re a small company too and we make our fair share of mistakes – I’m hopeful they can make it past all these errors and build a great app, but in the meantime, Hootsuite and Latergramme both provide more compelling alternatives.

(4) Dash Hudson

Sign-up Process: The sign-up process is an extremely poor user experience. They have a manual review of all requests for an account, and after 48-hours I have still not heard back.

Scheduling an Instagram Post: Since I was unable to obtain an account, I can’t speak to their process.

Other Features: Same.

Cost: I wasn’t able to find any pricing info for their Instagram scheduler functionality.

Overall: They’ve got a nice website, but can’t really say much more about them. To be this difficult to obtain information about their product, I’d recommend any of the other options above.