Hootsuite uses tokens to connect to your social accounts. When a token expires, you must reconnect, or re-authenticate, your social account to Hootsuite. Doing this generates a new token. See Reconnect a social network to Hootsuite.
Reasons why your social account can disconnect from Hootsuite
Tokens expire due to:
- Manual updates on your part like changing a password, or other changes to account settings.
- The social networks themselves forcing tokens to expire as a security measure.
- Tokens reaching the end of their built-in lifespans.
1. 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 network. Social networks have App settings that list which apps to connect to your social account. For example, most people will have their phone app listed so they can tweet directly from their phone. Hootsuite must be listed here too 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 networks.
- If the user who added a social account to Hootsuite loses their access to a Page or group, the account disconnects from Hootsuite.
2. 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.
3. 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 / 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.