What is the Content Publishing API?
The term refers to a programming interface that enables external apps and platforms to import organic Instagram posts into the system. This has actually been available since 2018, but only as a “closed beta” – i.e. exclusively for a few dozen larger software providers and thus unfortunately not for socialPALS.
Why does Instagram open the API?
Instagram justifies this quite surprising step by saying that it wants to meet the needs of many companies. These companies often post anything but spontaneously – rather, social content is created in larger team structures, must go through complex approval processes, and must therefore be designed and planned well in advance.
Above all, the “mobile only” paradigm in combination with “just in time” presented numerous companies with major challenges. Depending on the industry or target group, it was not uncommon for responsible social media managers to have to post content from their cell phones at night or on weekends – a process that was not only extremely annoying, but above all prone to errors. The platform now wants to get rid of this and is making the publishing API available to all tool providers with immediate effect.
Why do we think this is great?
With the new Instagram Graph API, Facebook closes another gap in its 360° marketing: Ad targeting, content publishing and community management can now be managed without a mobile device – and thus also by external tools like socialPALS.
This means: Finally, we can also play out organic Instagram posts via our platform in an automated way! This not only makes our day-to-day work easier, but especially for our brands and retailers. They can confidently leave the entire campaign management to the socialPALS platform and concentrate on the important things.
How do you benefit from this as a socialPALS partner?
There are many good reasons to play out Instagram posts in a centralized and automated way:
- Coherent aesthetics
Your Instagram profile is often the first thing a visitor sees of your business. So it’s just as important as your website or storefront! Through centrally controlled socialPALS campaigns, you ensure CI-compliant content.
- Time saving
Appealing Instagram posts with detailed and meaningful captions take a lot of time. So “auto-scheduling” is essential, especially for small business owners without a social media manager. As a participating merchant in a socialPALS campaign, you benefit from turnkey brand campaigns!
- Target audience engagement
Those who post more frequently reap more reach and interactions. So a regular posting schedule generates more exposure for your business and creates a consistent experience for your potential clientele. Since organic reach and engagement are constantly decreasing, it’s even more important to post your content at the right time. So it’s best to plan ahead after evaluating relevant insights via the socialPALS content calendar!
So what's the catch?
Even with this good news, there are a few challenges:
- In order for us to populate an account with content, it must be a business account. Private profiles basically can’t be managed via external platforms.
- Auto-scheduling only works for single images as a feed post. Carousel posts with multiple images can be pre-scheduled, but must then be posted manually. The same is true for stories and associated swipe up links.
- The API does not support branded content tags or shopping tags. Product tags in images, for example, still need to be set manually.
- Reels and IGTV content cannot be posted automatically via the API.
- The file format is limited to images. Videos are therefore not possible.
- In order to link to a landing page (for example, to a socialPALS campaign), another tool for setting links in the profile description (so-called “link in bio”) is necessary, since Instagram does not allow clickable links in the caption.
In summary: Even though the functions for posting via external platforms are still somewhat limited at the moment, we are still happy about this additional possibility to publish campaign content on your Instagram profiles. Because as they say at socialPALS: From touchpoint to store door – and that’s where every touchpoint is important!