Instagram has always been a worthy inclusion in the social media marketing toolboxes of visually-oriented brands, but its lack of scheduling has been a bugbear for many. But now it seems as though publishers will be able to schedule posts going forward following an Instagram API change. The only catch is that it must be done (for now) via third-party apps, like HootsuiteSprout Social or SocialFlow.

Nevertheless, despite the initial limited functionality, the news will be welcomed by social media managers and brands all over the globe.

Announcing the API change in a blog post on January 31, Instagram said: “Today, we’re introducing new features to the API, such as allowing businesses to schedule posts, view posts they’ve been tagged in and view other business profiles.”

While the scheduling feature doesn’t extend to ads and isn’t available within the Instagram app itself, it is, nonetheless, a step in the right direction.

One such third-party app that can take advantage of the API update is Hootsuite. According to the social media management platform, the ability to schedule Instagram posts has been the number one request from Hootsuite’s 16 million customers.

“Now, they can manage large volumes of content, multiple team members and multiple Instagram accounts with ease and security. Hootsuite is excited to partner with Instagram to make this happen,” said Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes.

In addition to scheduling, the Instagram API update will also include two other new features for business profiles:

  • Business Discovery – Allows businesses to discover and read the profile information and media of other businesses.
  • Mentions – Allows businesses to read public media that a business has been photo tagged or @mentioned in and post comments on a business’s behalf on media it was tagged or mentioned in.

Do you use Instagram for your social media marketing? How will these new additions affect you and your business? Let us know…