Instagram Scheduler/SMM Tool

Hey everyone,

I’ve been reading about the Instagram API plugin, and it looks like it’s possible (albeit tricky) to read IG data in your Bubble app.

I’m looking to take it one step further and see if it would be possible to build a simple Instagram scheduler tool like Later/OneUp/Buffer/etc.

Could anyone confirm or deny if it is in fact possible to create an Instagram scheduler on Bubble? Thanks.

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If you mean posting on behalf of others …

FB won’t give you access to the Personal Account APIs unless you are a big Marketing Partner. So Buffer.

You can get data from Business Profiles but they won’t allow your automate posts.

You can push stuff to a Buffer profile for onward sending to Instagram.

You can set up a Robot to pretend to be a mobile phone. If caught you will be banned forever.

It’s the same with Pinterest. They hate automation.

Hey Nigel, thanks for the reply. Yep, I know they hate automation. And I’m not trying to recreate a script either, actually. I know they’re very wise to those and similar “growth” tools.

I’m actually just looking to schedule posts for my own business profiles. I know they only provide API access to the big guys, which is what allows them to offer direct IG posting. Not looking to do that either.

Many SMM services instead just have a mobile app, and when it’s time to publish your post to IG, they send a notification to your phone. I realize that for this, using Bubble, it wouldn’t be possible since it’d have to be a native mobile app, since PWAs (as far as I know) don’t allow for mobile push notifications on iOS.

But instead of sending a push notification, maybe I could send an email to myself, or perhaps even a text.

I’m just trying to create an internal tool which allows me to create timeslots throughout the week, schedule posts for those timeslots, and push the media/caption to my phone so I can do the final posting.

Something similar to this Bufferly template, but for Instagram.

I did it, using bubble as front-end, airtable to store the scheduled posts, a Google app script to ping my airtable table every minute (to get some formulas using NOW() to do their job in real time without human action) and zapier and integromat to post on your favorites social media.

Trust me to overcomplicate :slight_smile:

Depending on the size of your Buffer, then you could use Zapier as an immediate Zap with the scheduled date in the Zap.

Or you can create a Scheduled API and push to Zapier at that point.

The problem of using the scheduled API is that, if I’m correct, once the push is done, you can’t go back and modify the post’s content. Using airtable to store the pushed posts, you can easily modify them using the Airtable plugin or using Airtable API. And no disk space wasted to store scheduled posts :slight_smile:

Sounds really interesting, albeit sort of complicated. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but the way I understand it:

  • Bubble is your frontend only
  • Airtable stores your scheduled posts
  • Some type of custom script pings Airtable every minute
  • Zapier and Integromat do the posting

Some questions right off the bat as I think through your solution:

  1. What’s the Google app script and where would I find it/integrate it properly?
  2. Given you’re using Zapier and Integromat to do the actual posting, doesn’t that mean you’re limited to single-photo posts? IIRC, it’s not possible to post anything besides single-photo posts using Zapier/Integromat. No videos, stories, or multi-photo (carousel) posts.
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Hahah no worries. You were thinking far ahead, which I appreciate. Fortunately, I’m just looking to create a personal app that works for my particular use case, rather than turn it into a Buffer/Later/Hootsuite competitor.

Depending on the size of your Buffer
What do you mean by this exactly? The sum of the size of scheduled posts? The number of accounts tied to this app? Not sure how to measure “size” here exactly.

Based on the rest of your post, it seems like all roads lead to Zapier nevertheless—is this correct? I ask this because I know Zapier’s integration with Instagram only allows for single photo posts. No videos, stories, or multi-photo/video (carousel) posts.

Hey @hiram

Your understanding is correct. My users create their post in the Bubble app. Any created post is then transfered to Airtable. The Google apps script is just there to ensure that all triggering formulas using the NOW() function in the airtable table recalculate in “real time” (in fact, every minute).

I do need these formulas because I do need the posts to enter a airtable view when it’s time for them to be published (and they’re catched from this view by zapier / integromat). I manage 3 types of posts : instant post (published as soon as created), scheduled posts (published at a given date/hour), and recurring posts (the same post repeated every X days or weeks.

It’s not so complex, even if it would be better to make it all from bubble. But I don’t want these data to overload the app a’d database, so airtable was a good candidate for this purpose.

And you’re also right that this mechanism has limitations. Single picture is one of these limitations…

Firstly, congratulations on a very smart solution :slight_smile:

I think you have overcomplicated things a little, however.

The way to do this in Bubble is to store the post on a Post content table, schedule the API pointing to this thing, and then store the id of the workflow on that thing.

This means that you can modify that post as much as you like (apart from posting time, in which case you need to cancel the workflow using the id you stored and reschedule) before the post.

You are right in that if you send the post data as parameters to a Workflow you can’t change them, but you can just send the thing. It doesn’t make a “copy” when you schedule so you can change it. Did quite a lot of testing on this for exactly this reason.

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Buffer prices on scheduled post (a buffer… geddit :slight_smile: ) . 100 for $15 and a big jump to $65 for 2000.

So you don’t want more than 100 scheduled at a time. Storing them in Bubble or Airtable is therefore the way forward.

Zapier doesn’t connect to Instagram like it does for Facebook so you have to go via Buffer (or something else).

Videos are possible I think, not sure what happens if you post multiple photos. Stories are possible by sending to a different buffer profile.

Thanks @NigelG, I have to deep dive in this way to manage posts.

The current posting architecture was designed when I was using Adalo. Now Bubble is part of the picture, I probably have to reconsider this choice.

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The smart way to do it in Adalo for sure :+1:

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Did anyone ever come to a conclusion on this. I wanted to automate the posting of my video content across as many platforms as possible. Especially Instagram and Tiktok

For context we put out close to 1000 pieces of content a month and we use hoot suite, and I pay someone just to post what we cant schedule