Instagram continues to be a vitally important social media tool for small businesses. In addition to scheduling photos to promote and support your business objectives, you can now schedule videos, which have a huge impact on consumer engagement.
Previously, the Instagram API was limited to scheduling single-image posts, not yet allowing third-party tools to schedule videos or multi-image posts. Now, these tools - mainly social media management apps - can add the ability to schedule video posts to Instagram without having to use the “smartphone workaround”, the age-old process of getting a mobile alert from a social media management app when it’s time to post, and then having to manually post the video via the Instagram app.
Like direct photo scheduling, the video scheduling API is only available to Instagram Marketing Partners via the Content Publishing API beta program. Most major social media management apps (Buffer, Hootsuite, Social Report, etc) are a part of this program, so you can expect your social media management app of choice to support the feature soon.
Additionally, like Instagram photo scheduling, only Instagram Business Profiles have access to direct video scheduling via social media apps. The process of moving to a Business Profile is easy though, and simply requires you to link a Facebook Page to your Instagram profile.
The guidelines for scheduling and uploading videos to Instagram includes:
“Container: MOV or MP4 (MPEG-4 Part 14), no edit lists, moov atom at the front of the file
Audio codec: AAC, 48khz sample rate maximum, 1 or 2 channels (mono or stereo)
Video codec: HEVC or H264, progressive scan, closed GOP, 4:2:0 chroma subsampling
Frame rate: 23-60 FPS
Picture size: Maximum columns (horizontal pixels): 1920, Minimum aspect ratio [cols/rows]: 4/5, Maximum aspect ratio [cols / rows]: 16/9
Bitrate: VBR, 5Mbps maximum
Duration: 60 seconds maximum, 3 seconds minimum
File size: 100MB maximum”
Most of these limitations will be automatically implemented by the social media scheduling apps that choose to support direct video scheduling. Additionally, the time limit and file size are the same as the standard Instagram video upload limit.