Want to schedule Instagram Stories from the desktop using a third-party tool? There’s a simple and easy workaround that can get the job done.
More and more people and brands are using Instagram Stories every day. In fact, there are now over 500M active daily users for Instagram Stories.
But, just as with normal Instagram posts initially, Stories were designed to be shared only from your mobile device … and only at the moment you wanted to share. (No scheduling.) There is some hope that Instagram will release API functionality that permits direct publishing and scheduling of Instagram Stories via third-party tools—but that’s not an option today.
However, there is a way that people and brands can schedule Instagram Stories from the desktop using a third-party tool … a clever little workaround that’s quite easy to use and that will accomplish exactly what you’re looking for.
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I know the purists out there are already grumbling at me as they read this. They’re saying, “But Mike! Social media and the Story format, in particular, is supposed to be ‘vivre l’instant présent’”–live in the moment. These purists believe that the best social content is that which is shared in an authentic, real-time way.
I respectfully disagree.
Though I think there’s nothing wrong with real-time posts, particularly ones that are expressing your personal emotions (joy, sadness) or opinions (outrage, support) at a particular moment, something can be said for the carefully considered and artfully crafted post. Whether the post comes from a person or a brand is irrelevant.
A place for thoughtful content exists.
And while thoughtful content can be shared as soon as it’s ready just like any other post, part of the thoughtfulness can include, “Is this the right time for this post?” or “How does this post fit alongside the rest of my Story?”
In fact, that careful consideration of how each post within a Story fits alongside the other posts is actually quite a compelling argument. While it’s OK to add random posts to your Story that each has its own meaning, that’s hardly a compelling story overall.
Think about the best books and novellas you’ve read throughout your life.
Each chapter wasn’t a random piece of a random person’s life. The chapters progressed through a tale that provided you with a depth of meaning and emotion.
They told a story.
If you take the time to create and publish a series of posts to your Instagram Story, you can bring your audience into your tale and keep them engaged with your brand in a way that many others will not.
And if you’re doing that, you’re likely doing it from Desktop to take advantage of superior image editing and graphic design, making the option to publish and schedule Instagram Story content from desktop extremely desirable.
So, here’s how.
Because the Instagram platform is designed to be used via a mobile device, there’s no option to post directly to Instagram from the desktop.
You need to either send content to your mobile device and publish manually or use a third-party tool like Agorapulse.
Agorapulse can actually do a lot for you, particularly for Instagram. You can schedule and publish regular Instagram posts (square images) directly, as well as monitor comments on the posts.
You can call up reports on how your Instagram audience and profile is growing, and even keep an eye on comments made to Instagram Ad posts!
You can also publish and schedule Story content via push notifications.
Currently, the Instagram API doesn’t have explicit permission or hook for this feature, but I have a clever hack for you.
Once you’ve signed up for Agorapulse and connected your Instagram account, go into your profile settings and turn OFF Direct Publishing. This is the feature that business accounts are able to use to publish and schedule normal Instagram posts “hands-free” (without a notification on your mobile device).
With that setting turned off, any published or scheduled content to your Instagram profile, via Agorapulse, will behave in this way:
Now you can publish Instagram story content from desktop whenever you wat. And if you have your Facebook Page or profile synced, you can use this technique to schedule and automatically publish updates to your Facebook Story as well.
Let’s walk through a quick example.
For instance, I created this 1080px by 1920px graphic (which will also work very well for Pinterest) using Canva:
I then opened Agorapulse and started to create a new social media post with this graphic, selecting my brand Instagram profile.
Note that with Direct Publishing disabled, a small red smartphone icon appears next to your profile to indicate any content published will be sent via Push Notification.
Note too that once you’ve selected a profile and uploaded an image (and you can choose to share to multiple profiles if you like), you can then opt to Publish Now, Add to queue, or Schedule!
At the time you chose, you will get a push notification on your phone that looks similar to the screenshot above. Tapping that will open your Agorapulse app and step you through sending that image to Instagram and adding it to your Story.
If you have more than one Instagram profile, make sure that you’re logged into the correct one before tapping on “Copy to Instagram.”
There’s hope for direct story publishing as well as story analytics eventually. For now, though, many will find this technique extremely helpful.
Get started on saving time and energy on your own social media management! Check out our free trial of Agorapulse to help you schedule, track, and measure all your social media efforts.
This article was originally published on The Social Media Hat.