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  Article updated: December 02, 2021

Troubleshoot Facebook and Instagram publishing errors

These are the most common publishing errors we get from Facebook and Instagram, along with recommendations to fix them.

Facebook and Instagram publishing errors

You could see one of the following errors in Composer or Planner. Follow the instructions listed to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Facebook requires a security check

When Facebook suspects that your account security may be compromised, it triggers a security check on login. This needs to be completed before you or Hootsuite can publish to the account.

Sign in to your Facebook account in another browser tab and follow the instructions to complete the security check. When your account is restored, reconnect it to Hootsuite to resume publishing. See Reconnect a social account.

Learn more about Facebook security checkpoints.

This account is inactive or restricted

This error means there’s an issue with your Instagram account that needs to be resolved on Instagram before you can publish. Instagram may restrict access to accounts that have been inactive for a period of time, or that have violated Instagram’s Terms of Use.

Sign in to your Instagram account to see why it’s restricted and what you can do to resolve it.

Group setup incomplete for publishing

This error can occur when trying to publish to a Facebook group. Confirm that you’ve met these requirements, and then proactively reconnect the group to refresh its connection:

  1. The user who added the group to Hootsuite needs to be an Admin of the group on Facebook.
    To learn more, see the Facebook article Group Management for Admins.
  2. The user who added the group should turn on two-factor authentication for their Facebook account. Learn more about two-factor authentication and how to turn it on.
  3. A group Admin needs to add the Hootsuite app to the group’s settings on Facebook.
    For instruction, see the Facebook article How do I add an app to a Facebook group I admin?
  4. When you’ve confirmed that these requirements are met, proactively reconnect the group to Hootsuite and try publishing again. See Proactively reconnect a social account.

Page setup incomplete for publishing

This error can occur when trying to publish to a Facebook Page or Instagram account. It means Hootsuite doesn’t have all the permissions it needs to manage publishing on your behalf. Confirm that you’ve met these requirements, and then proactively reconnect the Page to refresh its connection:

  1. The user who added the Page to Hootsuite should have two-factor authentication set up for their Facebook account. Facebook requires this extra security to help protect your assets in Business Manager. Learn more about two-factor authentication and how to turn it on.
  2. The user who added the Page to Hootsuite needs to have a Page role of Admin or Editor on Facebook. You can do this on the Facebook Page or through Facebook Business Manager. To learn more, see Manage Page Settings in the Facebook help center.
  3. Check that Hootsuite has permission to manage your Page in your Facebook account’s Business Integrations settings: Open another browser tab and sign in to Facebook. Then use this direct link to go to your account’s business integrations: https://www.facebook.com/settings?tab=business_tools, and then select View and edit next to Hootsuite.
    • If you see any lists of Facebook Pages that you own in the Hootsuite integration settings, make sure they are all selected, and then select Save.
    • If there is no list, it means all your Pages are already selected, and you can proceed to step 4.
    • If Hootsuite isn't appearing at all as one of your Business Integrations, proceed to step 4 to reconnect.
      The business integration settings in a sample Facebook account, showing check boxes next to the account's Pages
  4. In Hootsuite, proactively reconnect the Page to refresh the connection, and then you can resume publishing. See Proactively reconnect a social account.

Facebook.com URLs are not supported

Due to Facebook limitations meant to protect user privacy, third parties such as Hootsuite are unable to publish certain types of Facebook.com links to Facebook. This includes links to private and public events, group posts*, and personal profile posts.

You can publish the following types of Facebook.com links from Hootsuite:

  • https://www.facebook.com
  • Links to Facebook groups
  • *Links to group posts made by admins, if they are published to the same group
  • Links to Facebook Pages
  • Links to Page posts, videos, photos, or albums
  • Links to personal profiles

Unconfirmed Facebook account

This error means there’s an issue with your account that needs to be resolved on Facebook before you can access it from Hootsuite. Sign in to your Facebook account to see what Facebook needs you to do to resolve it.

When the issue is resolved, reconnect the account to Hootsuite to resume publishing. See Reconnect a social account.

Facebook is blocking content in this post

All content that gets published to Facebook must follow Facebook's Community Standards. Facebook monitors to enforce these standards and also evaluates reports of abusive or spam content from people who use Facebook.

If you see this error, it means that Facebook recognizes an element in your post that may not follow its policies. Something in the text, an image, a video, or a link was flagged as objectionable.

Make sure that your posts are always compliant with Facebook's Community Standards. Try editing the post to determine what is being flagged. This content would likely be flagged if you tried publishing it from Facebook as well.

This link is invalid

If you see this error, it means one of the following:

  • The URL is not formatted properly.
  • Facebook is blocking the URL because it has been reported as abusive or spam by other people who use Facebook.

Check that the link is properly formatted and make sure your posts are always compliant with Facebook's Community Standards. Try publishing this link directly from Facebook to see if you get more information about the issue.

Creator profiles do not have access to direct publishing

Instagram offers three profile types: personal, business, and creator. Due to limitations from Instagram, your profile type determines your access to the Instagram features available in Hootsuite. Business profiles get full access to Instagram features in Hootsuite, including direct publishing. While Hootsuite labels creator profiles as business profiles, if you try to publish directly to Instagram with a creator profile, you will see this error.

Instagram requires creator profiles to publish all posts via mobile notification, using your mobile device. See Create an Instagram post for details.

You can choose to convert your Instagram profile to another profile type at any time. For full access to Instagram features in Hootsuite, you need a business profile connected to a Facebook Page.

Follow these steps to convert your creator profile to a business profile in Instagram:

  1. In the Instagram mobile app, go to your profile, and then select the menu icon in the top right.
  2. Select Settings, and then select Account.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of Account, select Switch Account Type, and then Switch to Business Account.
  4. Select Switch to confirm.
  5. Now follow the instructions at Connect an Instagram account to a Facebook Page to finish setting up your business profile.

Image has an unsupported aspect ratio

When you publish a single image directly to an Instagram business profile, the image’s aspect ratio must be either square or between 1.91:1 (landscape) and 4:5 (portrait). Put another way, between 0.8 and 1.91 (divide your image’s pixel width by its height to see if it fits).

To resolve the issue, follow these steps:

  1. Select Edit image under the image.
    Edit image option highlighted under an image in the post composer
  2. Select one of the crop ratios specific to Instagram.
    Instagram-specific crop sizes in the Transform section of the composer's image editor

You can also make adjustments to your images before uploading them to Hootsuite, or switch the publishing method to Publish via mobile notification. When you publish from your mobile device in the Instagram app, Instagram adjusts the image for you. Learn how to publish via mobile notification in Create an Instagram post.

Publish via mobile notification highlighted of the Instagram publishing options in the composer

Permissions not sufficient for direct publishing

Usually this error occurs when an Instagram business profile’s setup changes after the account is added to Hootsuite. Confirm that the following requirements for direct publishing are still met:

  1. The Instagram profile is a business profile (not a personal or creator profile).
  2. The Instagram profile is connected to a Facebook Page. See the Facebook help article How do I connect my Facebook Page and Instagram account.
  3. You have an Admin or Editor page role for the connected Facebook Page. See the Facebook help article Manage Page roles.

When you’ve confirmed that these requirements are met, reconnect the Instagram account to Hootsuite. This requires signing in to both Instagram and Facebook. Follow the instructions to proactively reconnect your group in Reconnect a social account.

Refresh the connection between Facebook and Hootsuite

For most errors, Hootsuite can identify a specific cause, but some errors can be harder to diagnose. Many Facebook configuration settings can be changed after a Facebook Page or group is added to Hootsuite. These changes can result in Hootsuite losing the access it needs to complete actions on your behalf.

Follow these setup steps when specific troubleshooting hasn't resolved the error you're seeing. These steps ensure that your Facebook account is in the optimal state for use in Hootsuite. The person who added the Page or group to Hootsuite must complete them.

  1. Turn on two-factor authentication for your Facebook account. Facebook requires this extra security to help protect your assets in Business Manager.
    Learn more about two-factor authentication and how to turn it on.
  2. Make sure that your Facebook account has a Page role of Admin or Editor on every Page you want to manage in Hootsuite, including on each location Page. You can do this on the Facebook Page or through Facebook Business Manager.
    To learn more, see Manage Page Settings in the Facebook help center.
  3. Make sure that you have an Admin role for each Facebook group you want to manage in Hootsuite.
    To learn more, see the Facebook article Group Management for Admins.
  4. Confirm that Hootsuite is an authorized app in each Facebook group you want to manage in Hootsuite.
    For instruction, see the Facebook article How do I add an app to a Facebook group I admin?
  5. Access your Facebook account's Business Integrations to confirm that Hootsuite has access to manage all your Pages.
    For instructions on accessing this area, see the Facebook help article How do I edit the privacy and settings for my business integrations?
    • If you see a list of Facebook Pages that you own in the Hootsuite integration settings, make sure they are all selected, and then select Save.
    • If there is no list, it means all your Pages are already selected, and this area of your account is set up correctly.
    • If Hootsuite isn't appearing at all as one of your Business Integrations, proceed to the next step.
  6. Log out of Facebook.
  7. In Hootsuite, proactively reconnect your Page or group:
    1. Go to My profile, and then select Manage accounts and teams.
    2. Under Private social accounts, select the Page or group. Or, select Social Networks under an organization name and then select the Page or group from the organization’s accounts.
    3. Select the Profile Settings tab, and then select Connect with Facebook.
    4. Enter your social account credentials, and then sign in.
    5. Facebook displays a prompt listing the permissions you are granting to Hootsuite to complete actions on your behalf. Select OK without editing any of the permissions. Full permissions are granted to Hootsuite by default.

      Important: If you select Choose what you allow and change any of the settings, you won’t be able to complete certain actions in Hootsuite.