Being a social media manager means that I manage a variety of accounts across a few different platforms. Instagram is by far the most complicated when it comes to finding efficient ways to create and publish content thanks to their very limited API. Most tools that you can use to schedule Instagram posts require you to manually publish the post at the scheduled time because they cannot use the Instagram API to do it automatically, like Facebook and Twitter allow. When you are managing only one account that isn’t the end of the world. When you are managing far more than that it can get tricky. Like seriously never being able to be without your phone or service.
First, I asked Schedugr.am – “What’s the deal?”
My first email to Schedugr.am asked them about how this all works without the API – “From my understanding, it is against Instagram TOS to have an app publish content to your profile without the user hitting publish. Is this a feature that Schedugr.am offers? To have the ability to schedule and it will post automatically for you at that time, is this authorized?”
A representative for Schedugr.am named Spiros responded:
“We don’t believe our service is against Instagram’s terms of service. There are arguments about whether the terms allow anyone to use the login credentials of another user – regardless of whether they have consented – however our interpretation (disclaimer we’re not lawyers) is that this is obviously about people hacking accounts, not people consenting to the use of their credentials, or agencies would be unable to use Instagram as they are third parties!
Instagram is explicit that you cannot use their so-called “private API”, which we don’t use.
Our customers range from small businesses and agencies through to global brands. Regarding the risk of clients having issues with Instagram, my recommendation is that you be careful about Instagram’s community guidelines – that is what will get you in trouble. We have our own interpretation of these guidelines as well, which we enforce. Obviously though the decision about what is risky and what is not is individualised to the customer – we talk about that a bit more in the above article.
And for 3 years providing our services and still growing, that alone is a testament :)”
“If you provide your login credentials to anyone other than yourself, it is not a policy violation.”
I reached out to Facebook to let them know they do not use the API, but I wanted to make sure this was not a violation for another reason. I had heard it might be a violation to share your login information with others and I wanted to make sure that was not the case before I signed up for anything. The first response I got appeared to be trying not to have to answer the question directly:
“Since these are both 3rd party applications, I cannot speak to them as far as if they are abiding by policies and procedures. You can reach out to the 3rd parties to find out more information, but I can’t provide the necessary support or advice for those applications.” – Facebook Representative
“As simply as I can put it for you, if you provide your login credentials to anyone other than yourself, it is not a policy violation. However, it is provided at your discretion, which means that you are liable for any action taken under your Ad Account login, positive or negative. I hope this provides clarification.” – Facebook Representative
This was confusing because I wasn’t talking about Ad Accounts. So I responded with “That helps, but you said that I am “liable for any action taken under your Ad Account login”, but I am referring specifically to Instagram. Is that still the case? Thank you.” He followed up to tell me:
“If you provide your login information to a 3rd party, whether it be Instagram or Facebook, what actions taken are purely at your discretion.” – Facebook Representative
This post contains my affiliate link for Schedugram in case you decide it’s something you want to try. When you sign up using my link you get a $5 credit. It’s new to me but I am enjoying it so far!