Create content for Instagram

In this article: 

With Gain, you can create and schedule Instagram content, including single-image posts, album posts of up ten images, photo and video Stories, videos, and animated GIFs. This article will go over everything you need to know to post to your Instagram accounts. 

Before you get started 

Instagram has only opened its API to a few select apps and has not allowed other apps access since then. That's why, until Instagram API access is available to everyone, Gain will enable you to connect your Buffer account to publish single image posts to Instagram directly. Learn more about how this works here.

You can publish all other types of posts (multi-image, videos, and Stories) manually. 

Here’s a breakdown:

First, make sure your Instagram accounts are connected to Gain. To do so, go to Brand Settings > Social Channels and click on +Add a Channel

Specifications for Instagram

Gain allows you to upload MP4 or MOV files, JPG, PNG, and GIF images to Instagram. 

  • The image file limit is 5MB. 

  • Video files can be up to 600MB in size and 3 to 60 seconds in duration. Video Stories can be up to one minute long, and Gain will cut them into four 15-second videos. The video duration has a hard limit, so you can’t upload videos with a fraction of a second over the time limit.

For best results, upload an MP4 or MOV video file.

  • Character limitation for post copy is 2200. 

Content Types 

In Gain’s post editor, you can choose from several different Instagram post types. We will go over each one below. 

Photo posts

With Gain, you can create single photo posts or Instagram Albums of up to ten images.

In the Photo tab, after you upload photos, they will appear in the All Images tab. All Images works much like a queue where you can save multiple images even if you don’t plan to publish all of them. Photos that will be published will be at the top and in the preview.

You can delete the photos by clicking on the [ X] on the top right. The image will disappear from the preview. To add another photo or the same one again, click on the image in the All Images queue. 

Gain also includes a full-featured image editor where you can crop, resize, add text, enhance and add effects to your images. To edit your photo, hover over your final image and click the Brush icon. 

Video posts

To create Instagram video posts, drag and drop or upload your video. Keep in mind that the maximum video length is 60 seconds. You’ll be able to add any filters, edit the post captions and add your location inside the Instagram app before sharing it. 

Animated GIFs 

Gain allows you to upload any GIF and will automatically turn the GIF into a video file. Drag and drop or upload your animated GIFs, and click Save

Photo Stories

Gain allows you to upload photo Stories created on Instagram or using your favorite tools (such as Canva, Adobe, etc.) to send for approval. Drag and drop or upload your ready-made Stories and click Save.

Video Stories

To create video Stories, drag and drop or upload your ready-made video. Keep in mind that the maximum video length is one minute long, and Gain will cut the video into four 15-second videos. 

Instagram formatting

When the designated manual publisher receives the push notification from the Gain Notify app, the publisher must paste the post's caption inside the official Instagram app. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Gain Notify respects the original formatting created when the post was first formatted and scheduled inside the Gain post editor, including paragraph spaces. However, the official Instagram app won't allow multiple line breaks in a row (i.e., leaving one or more blank lines in your captions). 
  • The lack of line breaks seems to happen when users view content in the Instagram mobile app. Posts on the web show paragraph breaks (even when using many blank lines). Some users use a trick to separate paragraphs by putting a single period at each blank line’s beginning. 
  • Additionally, under certain circumstances, the official Instagram app may remove the line breaks altogether. Instagram controls formatting on their side, and Gain can only reflect it in the previews, not modify it in any way. 

For more information on using Instagram, please visit their Help Center here.

Direct Publishing via Buffer

Due to Instagram’s API restrictions, to set up direct publishing for Instagram, you will need to create a Buffer account. To learn how to set up Direct Publishing, click here. 

Set up Push Notifications via Gain Notify

For multi-image posts, video posts, and Stories, Gain will send push notifications via the Gain Notify app, so you have to select a manual publisher first. This person will be in charge of receiving the push notifications when it's time to post, and it can be you or anyone on your team.

Inside your Brand Settings menu under Social Channels, you can designate a manual publisher. Choose the Instagram channel and then select a user from the dropdown list. 

The manual publisher will need to download the Gain Notify app to receive the reminders and publish content from their mobile device(s). The Gain Notify app is available to download on Android and iOS. 

Gain Notify for iOS

To download the app, go to the App Store and type Gain Notify. If you download Gain Notify on your iPad, make sure to search for apps that are "only for iPhones" to find it. Click the icon below to download

Log in using your Gain credentials. 

Note: Gain Notify supports 1Password manager to log in to the app. 

After you're signed-in, allow Gain Notify push notifications; otherwise, you won’t receive notifications when new content is ready to be published.

Gain Notify for Android

Download the Gain Notify app from the Google Play Store. Click the icon below:

Log in using your Gain credentials. 

Note: Gain Notify supports 1Password manager to log in to the app. 

After you're signed-in, allow Gain Notify push notifications; otherwise, you won’t receive when new content is ready to be published. Then, Gain will want to confirm again, so select Allow

Post to Instagram with Gain Notify 

Once you have established the manual publisher and install the Gain Notify app, a push notification is sent via the app to the manual publisher when it’s time to post.

Gain Notify saves any images or videos on your mobile device. When Instagram opens up, you have to go to your Library to select the images. The captions for posts are copied to the clipboard automatically so that you can tap and hold to paste them into the Instagram caption field once inside the official Instagram app. 

Important: Instagram posts and Stories will not show up in the Gain Notify app until it's time to publish the content per the publish date you set. So, if a post is scheduled for tomorrow at 10:00 am, it will only show up on the Gain Notify app at that time and not before. 

Pending and Posted tabs

If there are no posts ready to publish, then the Pending tab will read: "No posts ready to publish. Log in to your Gain account and get notifications when there's Instagram content to publish." 

When content is available, the posts show up inside the Pending section. The Posted area will include all the content that you've already posted to Instagram. 

If a post you've already posted shows up in the Pending tab, then you can remove it by tapping I Already Published This. 

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