How is Sked different to Later.com?
A number of customers have asked us about the difference between Sked (formerly Schedugram) and Later as solutions for Instagram scheduling.
The two services are quite different – each has their advantages though, and we’ll unpack them here.
How it works
Sked does it all for you, while Later is just a reminder service.
Sked, your all-in-one social media management platform for Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter (coming soon). For Instagram, 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 if you hired a marketing agency to post for you. 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 (you can read the full article about how we work here), 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.
Later’s Instagram scheduler essentially works the same way as Hootsuite or Crowdfire (two other Instagram scheduling solutions). What happens is that you schedule your images or video (only Later’s paid option offers video) in their web interface or app, much like you do in Sked – although each interface is of course a bit different.
The difference is in how things get posted.
While Later has introduced auto-posting, Hootsuite 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 (it’s the same for Later):
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), and auto-publish to Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter(coming soon) at the same time.
Sked offers unlimited team members, Later offers limited team members (based on your plan)
There are also some common features, like how both Sked and Later let you share an account between team members and schedule content (we include unlimited “collaborators” for each Sked account, while Later limits the number of team members you can invite).
Post limits and pricing
Sked costs more, but you get more.
On Later’s smaller plans (free/’premium’), you are limited to a specific number of posts (30/250 posts per month). Sked’s only limit is that you can’t post more than once every 15 minutes (so that we don’t “flood” Instagram) – which translates to 2,880 maximum posts…effectively unlimited like Later’s bigger plans (starter and above).
With Sked, you just pay for each account that you add – there are no plans, just a flat fee for each account (see our pricing page). Unlike Later, we don’t offer a free tier. That’s because it costs us quite a bit to offer our service, and we would rather that customers pay for us to provide a service to them, not for someone else to use it for free!
Our service also costs more than Later – it costs roughly $10 per account per month, while our service starts at $20. Why pay more? Because we do it all for you (which also means it costs more to deliver the service).
Later also offers the ability to search and ‘regram’ content from other accounts. We haven’t (yet) implemented this in Sked, mostly because of Instagram’s terms around copyright and ‘ownership’ of the photos that you post. But we’re looking for ways around that at the moment, and hope to launch something soon. In the meantime, if regramming is important to you, you might want to use Later (or just use a chrome extension to help you download ‘raw’ images from Instagram and then upload them to Sked).
Sked has some additional features like our ‘first comment’ integration, letting you schedule a comment where you can put your hashtags, like this:
There are a few other differences between the two services, but these are the major ones!
What will work best for you?
We don’t claim to be the best service for everyone. Nobody can or should claim that!
For the more budget conscious customer who is happy to spend the extra time themselves, Later is absolutely the better option.
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 all of your social media accounts. No longer just for Instagram, Sked powers its users with the ability to create, plan, schedule and publish content across Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter (coming soon) too!
If you’re looking to carve out hours in your social media workflow, sign up for Sked’s 7-day trial. Our all-in-one Instagram scheduler allows you to automatically post images, carousels, Stories, videos and more. Tag locations, users and products and manage all your hashtags in one place to save 5+ hours every week.