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. Doing this generates a new token.

Each social network has its own policies and security algorithms intended to keep its users’ accounts and data secure. When a social network identifies certain actions on an account, out of caution, it will force its token to expire. This 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 would 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. Learn how to safeguard against frequent disconnections.

Token expiry

Tokens expire due to:

  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 the 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 App settings that list which apps have permission to connect to your social account. Hootsuite must be listed here if you want to publish to your 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 social accounts.
  • 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 expiry 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.
Reconnection is also required if the user who connected the Facebook account no longer has Admin status on Facebook.

Instagram personal: Tokens for personal Instagram accounts are not expected to periodically 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 expiry dates, so are not expected to periodically need re-authentication.

YouTube: YouTube is not expected to periodically 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. These 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 has disconnected 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 alerts from Facebook for unrecognized logins. If you start getting alerts, you can tell Facebook which devices and browsers to trust in the future.

Facebook access revoked
When you connect your Facebook account to Hootsuite, the Hootsuite app gets authorized in your Facebook account’s Business Integrations as a connected app. If Hootsuite is removed from this list, its access to your account is revoked. This disconnects your Facebook account, including all your Pages, groups, and associated Instagram business accounts, from Hootsuite.

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

Facebook security checkpoint
When Facebook thinks your account's security may be affected, a security check is triggered upon login. 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.

Things that can trigger security checks include:

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

To resolve the issue and unblock your account

  1. Start by clearing the cookies and history in 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. After completing the security check, you’ll need to wait another 24 hours as an extra precaution before signing in to your Facebook account.

If you encounter an issue with completing the security check, you can 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 when:

  • The token has reached its built-in expiry date.
    • Tokens have built-in expiry 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 cadence. In doing so you get a new token and confirm that 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. We don’t have a lot of information about what causes this error yet. But by signing in to your Facebook account you’ll see what Facebook needs you to do to resolve it.

  LinkedIn

LinkedIn token expired
LinkedIn supplies tokens that allow Hootsuite to access and connect to your account. These have built-in expiry 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. In doing so you get a new token and confirm that Hootsuite is still authorized to access your LinkedIn account.

As an extra security measure, LinkedIn also expires tokens of inactive accounts. If you haven’t signed in to Hootsuite in the last 60 days, and interacted with LinkedIn during that period, your token will also expire. Interacting includes scrolling through a LinkedIn stream, publishing to LinkedIn, or loading Inbox.

LinkedIn access revoked
When you connect your LinkedIn account to Hootsuite, the Hootsuite app gets authorized in your LinkedIn account’s Permitted Services. If Hootsuite is removed from this list of connected apps, its access to your account is revoked. This disconnects your LinkedIn account, including your profile and Pages, from Hootsuite.

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

Insufficient access
To connect a LinkedIn Page to Hootsuite, your LinkedIn profile must be a Designated Admin on the Page. If you are later removed from the Page’s Designated 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 one is authorizing Hootsuite to access the Page. That user needs to remain listed as one of the Page's Designated 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.

Go to LinkedIn and try signing in to your account to understand why it was restricted and how long you have to wait before you can access it again. Follow any other instructions provided by LinkedIn. When you regain access to your account, you will be able to reconnect the profile 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 too.
  • 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 is what results in restrictions.
  • If you plan to do a lot more searching or connecting in a short period than you normally do, try to spread your activity on LinkedIn over a number of days.
  • Try using a different browser in case 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 an account’s 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 its Twitter Rules or Terms of Service.

Before you can reconnect your Twitter profile to Hootsuite, you need to sign in to Twitter and follow the instructions provided to restore your account.

To reduce the risk of having your account locked in the future, see Twitter’s help article for tips on keeping your account secure.

Twitter access revoked
When you connect your Twitter account to Hootsuite, the Hootsuite app gets authorized in your Twitter account’s settings as a connected app. If Hootsuite is removed from this list, its access to your Twitter account is revoked. This disconnects your Twitter account from Hootsuite.

Revoking access to a social account can be a necessary troubleshooting step. It starts you with a clean slate before reconnecting the account to Hootsuite. Make sure you and your team understand the effects of revoking Hootsuite’s access from 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 and try signing in to your account to understand why it was suspended. Follow any other instructions provided by Twitter to verify your information and restore the account. 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 profile to Hootsuite.

Accounts are most commonly suspended for being:

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

To prevent account suspension:

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