A number of customers have asked us about the difference between Sked (formerly Schedugram) and Hootsuite’s new (as of August 2015) Instagram scheduling.
The two services are quite different – each has their advantages though, and we’ll unpack them here.
Sked works by using physical devices and an automation layer on top of the official Instagram app, so that when your posts are due to be posted, we do it for you, end-to-end – much like a marketing agency would. This means that we have to keep a pool of devices at the ready to post images or videos to Instagram, and update our systems frequently to ensure stability, functionality and stay up-to-date with the latest developments with Instagram’s app, such as the recent 1080×1080 higher resolution.
Because of this extra complexity, our service is quite expensive to run – rather than just buying web servers we have to buy physical devices, have redundant internet connections to our office, and all kinds of things like that.
Hootsuite’s Instagram scheduling service essentially works the same way as Latergram or Crowdfire (two other Instagram scheduling solutions). What happens is that you schedule your images (they don’t support video yet as of Aug 2015) in their web interface or app, much like you do in Sked – although each interface is different.
The difference is in how things get posted.
Hootsuite, Latergram or Crowdfire don’t actually post the image for you. You receive a push notification to your phone at the time you had it scheduled, and you open that notification. When the notification opens, it pre-fills the image and caption into the Instagram app (with whatever account you have logged in at the time) on your phone, and you have to finish the upload yourself.
Here’s Hootsuite’s image (as of August 2015) that shows the process:
For some people, this difference might not matter – it is certainly easier than using the Instagram app natively! However, using Sked means that there is:
a) no push notifications outside work hours if you want to post content at that time, as Instagram users are often online outside 9 to 5
b) no logging in and out – if you manage multiple accounts, it’s very time consuming to log in and out of the Instagram app each time to change account, and
c) the ability to use some of our more advanced features, like ‘first comment’ (see here).
There are also some common features, like how both Sked and Hootsuite (Pro) let you share an account between team members and schedule content (we include unlimited “collaborators” for each Sked account).
As mentioned above, this doesn’t make their solution any worse – indeed, for the more budget conscious customer who is happy to spend the extra time themselves, it is the better option. We also don’t offer Facebook or Twitter scheduling, which Hootsuite also does, so it has an advantage in being the one tool to rule them all. However it is far from equivalent in features and functionality with Sked, and the difference can make a huge difference in the amount of time you take to manage Instagram accounts.
We have reached out to Hootsuite to discuss collaborating, perhaps just by creating a “marketplace extension” to allow our users to see the content they have scheduled in Hootsuite, post new content (through a special popup, not the normal Hootsuite scheduling box as we need to make sure the image is formatted correctly etc). Hopefully, they will let us do so, and their users will have the option of a lower cost DIY solution or the higher cost “done for you” solution that we provide.
To carve out hours in your social media workflow, start by signing up for Sked’s 7-day trial. As an all-in-one social media platform that allows its users to post directly to Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and more, Sked is the first step in engaging authentically with your followers.
This article is also published on the Schedugram helpdesk.