If you are active on different social networks, it can be very annoying to keep track of all your accounts. If you want to distribute some photos of your vacation, get some recommendations for your next phone or just complain about the weather, you must go to each service and send the same message to each – and then return to each service So you can follow any responses – is time-consuming and uncomfortable, to say the least.
One way around it is to use a social network manager that lets you work on, and post to, more than one social network at a time. These useful tools were previously available to daily users, but now sell their services largely to companies that want to use social networks for marketing and other commercial purposes. However, there are still a few that offer free (but somewhat limited) versions that can give you extra control over your use of social networks.
Not only the need to make a profit limits the number of apps that can work with more than one service. Services such as Facebook and Twitter have made it increasingly difficult for third-party apps to collaborate with them over the years.
For example, in August 2018, Twitter blocked access to real-time tweet streams from third-party apps. Perhaps even worse, push notifications from these apps were prevented and / or delayed, requiring developers to reconsider how to handle features such as direct messages (since most users want to be notified immediately of DM's # 39; s).
And then there was Facebook's response to the break with the Cambridge Analytics of 2018, in which millions of personal data from Facebook users were harvested. The company introduced new rules in April of that year for stopping third-party apps (including more general apps such as IFTTT) of being able to publish messages on Facebook (or Instagram, of which Facebook is the owner) as the logged in user. Facebook allows third-party apps to communicate with Facebook pages (the business version of personal profiles) and you can post directly to Instagram if you have a business Instagram profile.
Still, if you want a way to send messages to various services, including Facebook and Instagram, there's one app that lets you do it for free – if you're willing to go through a few hoops.
Post on Instagram using Buffer
Called a social network administrator Buffer has come up with a rather ingenious way to bypass Facebook's limitations. It reminds you to post your message on Instagram and via Instagram you can send your message to Facebook.
Here's how it works: with the free Buffer account you can sign up for up to three accounts; these can be a Facebook page, Facebook group, Instagram, Twitter, a LinkedIn page or a LinkedIn profile. (Buffer also posts messages on Pinterest, but you can't do it through the free account.) Suppose you want to post a picture of your phone today at 2 pm to three different services: Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
Assuming you have already downloaded and registered the Buffer app:
- After you've taken or selected the photo you want to post, share it from your photo app to Buffer.
- Choose to which account (s) you want to place the photo by tapping the plus sign at the top. Enter the text that you want to add to the photo. You can also add additional photos & # 39; s or videos & # 39; s.
- If you want to send different text to different services (for example, if you want to send hashtags to your Twitter account but not to your Instagram account), tap & # 39; Customize & # 39; at the bottom of the screen.
- When you're done, tap & # 39; Share & # 39 ;. You can now choose to share it, create a custom schedule or add it to a pre-arranged queue (a booking schedule that you can create). Assuming this is a one-time posting, tap & # 39; Custom Schedule & # 39 ;.
- The Twitter message will automatically post on Twitter at the set time. However, you will receive a notification on your phone when it is time to post the Instagram message.
- Buffer sends you a notification at the agreed time and invites you to "Post!" Or send "Refuse". Assuming you still want to post the message, tap & # 39; Post! & # 39;
- You will be asked if you want to place it on a story or your feed. In this case I place it on my feed.
- You can now crop your photo or change the color on Instagram.
- The photo is shown on the last Instagram page. Buffer has automatically placed your caption in the cache of your phone, so just press the caption area and paste. You can also choose to post your photo on Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr.
- Finally, tap & # 39; Share & # 39 ;.
Yes, this is a bit complicated. But once you get the hang of it, it's a good way to schedule messages on Instagram and Facebook. (Another way is of course just to use Instagram to post on Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr. However, when I tried, the images were not visible in my Twitter feed, you had to follow the link to Instagram to see them, which was not an ideal result.)
And if you want more features, such as the ability to manage up to eight social networks, the Pro version of Buffer costs $ 15 a month.
Almost, but not entirely: Hootsuite
Hoot Suite still stands out as an excellent way to control a variety of social network services. The app provides access to various social network services, including Twitter, Facebook (pages & groups), LinkedIn, WordPress, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest.
Using the free account you can check (and in some cases place) up to three different accounts. Like Twitter & # 39; s TweetDeck app (which was once a multi-service app, but now only works with Twitter), you can view several feeds simultaneously through a series of columns. You can also create pages with tabbed pages so that you can have a series of feeds for your work, one for your friends, one for feeds, etc.
However, Hootsuite is limited by the Facebook and Twitter rules, so unless you have a Facebook page or group, you cannot post to your feed. You can post a direct message on Facebook, but not with the free version. (The cheapest version, the Professional plan, costs $ 29 / month on an annual basis.)
In short: changes in the way social networks work with third-party apps have made it extremely difficult for non-business users to push messages to more than one service at a time. But if you are determined, there are ways around it.
Are there other ways that we have missed? Let us know in the comments.
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