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  Article updated: September 23, 2021

Why social accounts disconnect

Hootsuite uses access tokens, which are provided by social networks, to connect to your social accounts. When an access token expires or becomes invalid, you must reconnect your social account to Hootsuite (see Reconnect a social account). Doing this generates a new token.

Each social network has policies and security algorithms intended to keep its users’ accounts and data secure. When a social network identifies certain actions on an account, that social network forces its token to expire, which causes the account to disconnect from Hootsuite.

Hootsuite, like all external partners of social networks, is subject to these security measures. They are often more stringent for third parties than what you may experience using the social network itself. While disconnections can be frustrating, they occur to protect you.

Although some periodic disconnections are expected, you can avoid many others by adhering to some best practices. Safeguard against social account disconnections.

Token expiration

Tokens expire due to the following:

  1. Manual updates to your account settings, like changing a password.
  2. The social networks forcing tokens to expire as a security measure.
  3. Tokens reaching the end of their built-in lifespans.

A. Changes to account settings that result in disconnection
Hootsuite depends on settings you maintain in each social network. Making changes in a social network, such as Twitter or Instagram, can result in your account disconnecting from Hootsuite. Here are some changes that cause disconnections:

  • You change your username or password for a social account connected to Hootsuite. For example, if you sign in to Facebook and change your password, your Facebook account disconnects from Hootsuite.
  • You revoke Hootsuite’s access to your social account. Social accounts have settings that list which apps have permission to connect to your social account. Hootsuite must be included on that list if you want to publish to that social account from Hootsuite. If you manually revoke Hootsuite access from the social account settings, your account disconnects from Hootsuite. See Revoke Hootsuite access to a social account.
  • If the user who added a social account to Hootsuite loses their Admin status or access to a Page or group, the account disconnects from Hootsuite.

B. Security measures that result in disconnection
To keep your social account secure, a social network might disconnect the account from Hootsuite when it identifies certain behaviors. The following behaviors are likely to get flagged and should be avoided as a best practice:

  • Using alias usernames that don’t appear to be real names.
  • Logging in with the same account credentials from different IP addresses. In other words, sharing logins between users or devices.
  • Publishing content that gets flagged for copyright violations or other inappropriate content.

C. Token lifespans for each social network
Tokens from each social network can have built-in expiration dates, so that they don’t grant access to information forever. Disconnection can be expected based on each social network’s authentication policy:

  • Facebook, Facebook Ads, and Instagram Business- Tokens for these social networks have a 60-day lifespan.
  • Instagram personal- Tokens for personal Instagram accounts are not expected to need re-authentication, as they refresh automatically.
  • LinkedIn and LinkedIn Ads: Tokens for these social networks have a 365-day lifespan.
  • Twitter and Pinterest: These social networks do not issue tokens with expiration dates, so they are not expected to need re-authentication.
  • YouTube: YouTube is not expected to need re-authentication, as these tokens refresh each time Impact uses them to collect data from this network.

Top disconnection reasons

Hootsuite displays the specific reason for your disconnections whenever possible. The following are the most common errors we receive from each social network, along with recommendations to avoid them in the future.

Facebook and Instagram Business

Facebook password or security alert
This is the most common reason that Facebook or Instagram Business accounts get disconnected. We receive this message from Facebook when:

  • Your Facebook account password gets updated.
  • Facebook has detected what it thinks is a suspicious login attempt to your account. This includes logging in from a device or web browser that Facebook doesn’t recognize. To protect your account, Facebook disconnects any third-party tools, like Hootsuite. Here’s what you can do to avoid this in future:
    • Avoid using alias usernames for your Facebook accounts. Use the same name on Facebook that you use in everyday life, so people know who they’re connecting with.
    • Don’t share your Facebook account credentials (username and password) with anyone else. Team members managing Pages or groups should be signing in with their own credentials.
    • Try turning on Facebook alerts for unrecognized logins. If you start getting alerts, you can tell Facebook which devices and browsers to trust in the future. See the Facebook help article How do I get alerts about unrecognized logins to Facebook.

Facebook access revoked
When you connect your Facebook account to Hootsuite, Hootsuite is added as an authorized connection to your Facebook account’s Business Integrations. If Hootsuite is removed from the authorized connections list, its access to your Facebook account is revoked and your Facebook account, including all your Pages, groups, and associated Instagram business accounts, is disconnected from Hootsuite.

Revoking access to a social account can be a necessary troubleshooting step. It starts you with a clean slate before you reconnect that account to Hootsuite. Make sure you and your team understand the consequences of revoking Hootsuite’s access to a Facebook account. See Revoke Hootsuite access to a social account.

Facebook security checkpoint
When Facebook thinks your account security may be compromised, it triggers a security check when you log in. This needs to be completed before you or Hootsuite can access the account. Security checks are different ways of confirming your identity. For example, they might ask you to identify friends in a tagged photo, or provide your date of birth. This needs to be completed before you or Hootsuite can access the account.

Actions that can trigger security checks include:

  • Compromised accounts
  • Unrecognized logins
  • Incomplete setup of two-factor authentication
  • Reports of inappropriate content
  • Copyright violations

To resolve the issue and unblock your account, do the following:

  1. Clear the cookies and history from your browser.
  2. Go to facebook.com and sign in to your Facebook account.
  3. Follow the instructions to complete the security check provided.
  4. Wait another 24 hours before signing in to your Facebook account.

If you encounter an issue completing the security check, report it to Facebook.

To reduce the risk of triggering a security check in future

Facebook token expired
Facebook supplies tokens that allow Hootsuite to access and connect to your account. When a token expires, your Facebook account, including all your Pages, groups, and associated Instagram business accounts, disconnects from Hootsuite.

This disconnection occurs with the following actions:

  • The token has reached its built-in expiration date.
    • Tokens have built-in expiration dates for security so that a single token can’t grant access to your information forever. Facebook tokens expire every 60 days, so you will need to reconnect your Facebook account on a regular basis to get a new token and confirm Hootsuite is still authorized to access your Facebook account.
  • The user who connected the account to Hootsuite is no longer an Admin of the Facebook Page or group.
    • To add a Facebook Page or group to Hootsuite, your Facebook user must be an Admin of the Page or group. If your Admin role is later removed, the Page or group will disconnect from Hootsuite.

      Make sure that all your Page and group Admins know which user is authorizing Hootsuite’s access. That user needs to remain listed as a Page Admin or group Admin.

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

Insufficient Page role
To add a Facebook Page to Hootsuite, your Facebook account must have a Page role of Admin or Editor. This disconnection occurs when the user who connected the account to Hootsuite is no longer an Admin or Editor of the Facebook Page. Their role may have changed, or more commonly, their account was removed from the Page because they left the company.

Make sure that all your Page Admins know which user is authorizing Hootsuite’s access. That user needs to remain listed as a Page Admin or Editor. To learn more, see the Facebook help article Manage Page Settings.

Hootsuite lacks Page permissions
This error means that Hootsuite is missing a permission it needs to complete an action on your behalf for a Facebook Page or Instagram business profile. When Hootsuite performs certain actions, such as pulling analytics data from Facebook, it causes your social account to disconnect.

When you add your Facebook account to Hootsuite, you are asked to grant Hootsuite permissions to manage your Page. If you do not grant all permissions, then your account could be in a state of constant disconnection. Permissions can also be revoked in your Facebook account's business integrations, where Hootsuite is authorized as a connected app. Finally, Hootsuite may not have permissions for any newer Facebook features or recently created Pages.

Another possible reason for this disconnection for an Instagram business profile is that the profile was switched to a personal profile. You will need to switch it back to a business profile before you can reconnect.

To reset all permissions for Hootsuite, you must remove the Hootsuite app from your Facebook account’s business integrations and then reconnect the Page in Hootsuite.

  1. Ensure that your Facebook account has a Page role of Admin or Editor. See Facebook’s article How do I see what my role is on a Facebook Page? Facebook requires two-factor authentication for your Facebook account if your Page is in Business Manager (see the Facebook help Turn on Two-factor Authentication for Business Manager).
  2. Open another browser tab and sign in to Facebook. Then use this direct link to go to your Facebook account’s business integrations: https://www.facebook.com/settings?tab=business_tools
  3. Select the box next to Hootsuite, and then select Remove.
    The Business Integrations area in a Facebook account, with Hootsuite selected and the Remove button highlighted
  4. Select Remove again to confirm.
  5. Now reconnect your Facebook Page in Hootsuite. Go to My profile, and then select Reconnect social accounts.
    Reconnect social accounts highlighted in the My profile menu
  6. Select Reconnect next to your Page. You’ll be prompted anew to grant permissions to Hootsuite.
  7. Select Continue as [your Facebook profile name]. Do not select Edit Access to change any of those settings.
  8. Select Continue. Hootsuite will be granted all the necessary permissions by default. Do not select Choose what you allow to change any of the permissions.
    The Facebook permission screen showing the permissions being granted to Hootsuite after connecting, with Continue highlighted

Page restriction settings
This error means that Hootsuite can't access some of your Page's data that it has requested from Facebook. The most common cause for this is when the Page has country or age restrictions, or if the Page itself is not published.

Check your Page’s settings to see if any of these things are restricting its visibility. If the Facebook account that was used to connect the Page to Hootsuite does not meet the Page’s visibility requirements, then Hootsuite won’t be able to see the Page either. See Manage Page Settings: How do I control who can see my Page? in the Facebook help center.

Your Instagram account is a creator profile
Hootsuite labels creator profiles as business profiles, but due to limitations from Instagram, they do not have access to direct publishing. Your options are to publish all your posts from Hootsuite via the mobile notification workflow or to switch your Instagram account to a business profile. See How to check your Instagram profile type to confirm if your account is actually a creator profile. Then see Convert an Instagram personal profile to a business profile to convert your creator profile to a business profile to access full Instagram functionality in Hootsuite.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn token expired
LinkedIn supplies tokens that allow Hootsuite to access and connect to your account. These have built-in expiration dates for security, so that a single token can’t grant access to your information forever. When a token expires, your LinkedIn account, including your profile and Pages, disconnects from Hootsuite.

LinkedIn tokens expire every 365 days, so you can expect to have to reconnect every year to get a new token and confirm Hootsuite is still authorized to access your LinkedIn account.

As an extra security measure, LinkedIn also expires tokens or inactive accounts. If you haven’t interacted with LinkedIn in Hootsuite (scrolled through a LinkedIn stream, published to LinkedIn, or loaded Inbox) in the last 60 days during that period, your token will expire.

LinkedIn access revoked
When you connect your LinkedIn account to Hootsuite, Hootsuite is authorized as a LinkedIn Permitted Services. If Hootsuite is removed from LinkedIn's Permitted services, its access to your LinkedIn account is revoked and your LinkedIn account, including your profile and Pages, is disconnected from Hootsuite.

Revoking access to a social account can be a necessary troubleshooting step. It starts you with a clean slate before you reconnect that account to Hootsuite. Make sure you and your team understand the effects of revoking Hootsuite’s access to a LinkedIn account. See Revoke Hootsuite access to a social account.

Insufficient access
To connect a LinkedIn Page to Hootsuite, you must be a LinkedIn Super admin of the Page. If you are removed from the Page’s Admin list, the Page will disconnect from Hootsuite (even if you’re still listed as another kind of Page admin).

Make sure that all your LinkedIn Page admins know which account is authorizing Hootsuite to access the Page. That user needs to remain listed as one of the Page's Super admins on LinkedIn.

See a list of LinkedIn Page Admin types.

Restricted profile
LinkedIn restricts access to accounts that violate its acceptable use policies. Restrictions can be temporary or permanent, depending on the violation.

Sign in to LinkedIn for information on why it was restricted, what you may need to do, and how long you need to wait before you can access it again. When you regain access to your account, you will be able to reconnect the account to Hootsuite.

Here are some reasons an account might be restricted:

  • An unusually large number of page searches, profile views, connection requests, or messages from the account. These are flagged as possibly coming from a bot or automated tool.
  • The name used in the account profile is not a real person or is otherwise untruthful.
  • LinkedIn has detected inappropriate or illegal activity on the account.
  • A history of repetitive abusive behavior on the account.
  • LinkedIn has detected that the account may have been hacked or compromised. If you think your account has been hacked, report it to LinkedIn right away.

Here are some tips to avoid restrictions in future:

  • Don’t create a new account if your current one gets restricted. Each LinkedIn user is only allowed one account. Accounts from the same IP address, or that connect with the same people and employers, will be detected and restricted.
  • Make sure you are familiar with and follow LinkedIn’s Professional Community Policies and the Dos and Don’ts of their User Agreement. Violating these terms results in restrictions.
  • If you plan to conduct an unusual number of page searches, profile views, connection requests, or messages, try to spread your activity on LinkedIn over a number of days.
  • Try using a different browser to troubleshoot if an application in your default browser is generating high levels of activity on your account.
  • See LinkedIn’s help article for best practices for keeping your account secure.

Twitter

Locked Twitter account
When Twitter thinks account security may have been compromised, it temporarily locks the account, which disconnects it from Hootsuite. Accounts are locked when Twitter detects suspicious behavior that violates Twitter Rules or Terms of Service.

Before you can reconnect your Twitter account to Hootsuite, sign in to Twitter to restore your account.

To reduce the risk of having your account locked in the future, see Twitter’s help article Help with my compromised account.

Twitter access revoked
When you connect your Twitter account to Hootsuite, Hootsuite is authorized as a connected app. If Hootsuite is removed from the authorized connections list, its access to your Twitter account is revoked and your Twitter account is disconnected from Hootsuite.

Revoking access to a social account can be a necessary troubleshooting step. It starts you with a clean slate before you reconnect that account to Hootsuite. Make sure you and your team understand the effects of revoking Hootsuite’s access to a Twitter account. See Revoke Hootsuite access to a social account.

Suspended Twitter account
Twitter suspends access to accounts that violate its rules, or that may have been hacked. Go to Twitter to understand why it was suspended. Sometimes accounts are suspended by mistake. If you are unable to unsuspend your account, you’ll need to file an appeal with Twitter.

When you regain access to your account, you will be able to reconnect the account to Hootsuite.

Accounts are most commonly suspended for being the following:

  • Fake or spammy.
  • Hacked, to prevent potentially malicious activity.
  • Reported for abusive behavior.

To prevent account suspension:

Learn more