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  Article updated: November 27, 2023

Use the Instagram mobile notification workflow

Publish your Instagram posts or stories on-the-go using the mobile notification workflow. With this publishing method, you get a push notification on your Hootsuite mobile app when it’s time to publish your post or story in Instagram. Hootsuite sends your prepared content, including media, to your mobile device for you to publish via the Instagram app.

Instagram requires Personal and Creator profiles to use this publishing method for all posts and stories. Instagram Business profiles can opt to publish this way to add final touches in Instagram such as filters or tags.

Before you begin

Make sure you do the following:

  • Install the latest versions of Instagram and Hootsuite on your mobile device.
  • Turn on push notifications in your device settings to get the reminders.
  • Allow Instagram to access all photos on your device.

Enable push notifications

Set up your notifications to get a push notification on your Hootsuite mobile app when it’s time to publish your post (either right away or at the scheduled time). All mobile devices that are set up to get notifications for that Instagram profile will get one.

  1. Open your Hootsuite mobile app.
  2. Select your account profile picture .
  3. Select the Settings tab, and then select Notifications.
    The Settings tab selected on the Manage Account page of the Hootsuite mobile app.
  4. Select each Instagram profile you want to publish to and turn on all Instagram notifications.
    Instagram notification toggles for iOS and Android.
  5. If notification permissions for the Hootsuite app aren't enabled in your mobile device settings, follow the prompts to turn them on too.

Team, Business, and Enterprise plan members in a Hootsuite organization must complete these steps to publish posts to an organization's Instagram profile from their own mobile device. All organization members mobile devices that are set up to get publishing notifications for an Instagram profile will get the notifications.

Important: Notifications get turned off when you log out of your Hootsuite and Instagram apps. Make sure you’re always logged in to both apps.

Send your post to the Hootsuite app

Once you create your Instagram post or story, use the following instructions to publish it using the mobile notification workflow.

  1. Create your Instagram post or story.
  2. Select Publish via mobile notification.
    Publish via mobile notification with option highlighted.
  3. For Instagram stories, select Add next to Notes for the publisher to enter instructions for the person who will be publishing the post on Instagram.
  4. Select Post now or Schedule to send or schedule a notification.

If you get the error "Your Instagram account requires a paired device," it means that no one has push notifications enabled in their Hootsuite app for the Instagram account you're sending content to. Enable Instagram publishing notifications using the previous steps, and then try again.

Finish publishing via mobile notification

Hootsuite sends your prepared post, including all media files, to your mobile device for you to post in the Instagram app. Completing the workflow in Instagram gives you the ability to add final touches to your post like filters or tagging people in a photo.

Any team member with Hootsuite publishing permissions and permissions in Instagram can publish the post in Instagram from the notification.

  1. To open the notification in your Hootsuite mobile app, go to Streams , and then select Notifications .
  2. Select Publish in Instagram. If there are any notes for the publisher with the post, you can see them when the notification opens.
  3. Select Open to publish in Instagram. Your caption text is copied to your device clipboard and the Instagram app opens (you'll paste your caption into Instagram in a following step).

    Important: Hootsuite does not detect which Instagram profile is signed in to your Instagram app. If you publish to more than one Instagram profile, make sure you're signed in to the Instagram app with the same profile you selected in Hootsuite.

    If you get the error "Unable to publish to Instagram," check the Hootsuite app permissions in your device settings. Hootsuite needs access to all photos. 

  4. In the Instagram app, select Create to create a new post. The first photo or video saved on your device is selected by default. If your post has multiple images or videos (carousel), press and hold one of the images in your camera roll to select them all.
  5. Select Next to edit, add filters, and make other adjustments to your media files, and then select Next.
  6. Select Write a caption, long press in the caption area, select Paste to paste in your caption, and then select OK.
    The Paste option in the caption area of the Instagram app.
  7. Optionally, select Tag People to tag other Instagram accounts in your post and Add Location to add a location.
  8. Select Share to publish your post.

The Notifications list tells you if a notification has already been opened by a team member. Opened by (name) means the post has already been opened in the Instagram app.

An Instagram publishing notification, showing that a team member has already opened it.

You can open the notification, select Opened by (name), and then either mark the post as not opened or open it in Instagram again.

The Opened by (name) button selected, showing further actions.


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