Create content for Instagram

In this article: 

With Gain, you can create and schedule Instagram content, including single-image posts, albums, or carousel posts of up ten images, photo, and video Stories, videos, reels, 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 opened its API for direct publishing of single-image posts, Reels, carousels, and videos for all Business accounts. Instagram does not allow Creator accounts to auto-publish to Instagram via third parties. Unfortunately, until Instagram lifts this restriction, we cannot offer auto-publishing for Creator accounts via Gain. 

Other posts, such as Stories, must be published manually.

To prevent spam and abuse on its Instagram platform, Facebook has issued a publishing limit. Each Instagram account  has a maximum limit of 25 Instagram posts with direct publishing from third-party apps within a 24-hour period. To publish more than 25 posts within a 24-hour period, you can do so directly from the Instagram platform. Stories and posts published using push notifications are not included in this limit.

Important: Instagram Business accounts linked to Facebook Pages with large audiences may be asked to confirm their identity and secure their account before they can directly publish to Instagram. Here's what you'll have to do: 

  1. Enabling 2-step verification to protect the account from unauthorized access. 
  2. Confirm your primary location by turning on your mobile device's location services.

Now, to get started, make sure your Instagram accounts are connected to Gain. To do so, go to  Workspace 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 maximum limit is 8MB. Since Instagram compresses your photos and videos, sharing at an optimal resolution (as close to 1200px as possible) is always better. That way, when Instagram compresses your photo, it won’t really affect the image quality.

  • Video posts can be up to 100MB in size. Instagram allows direct publishing for single-video posts (3-60 seconds, 4:5 to 16:9 aspect ratio). All other videos, including Stories and Reels, must be published manually. 

  • Photo Stories can be up to 5MB in size. 

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

  • Reels can be up to 600MB in size and up to 60 seconds long. 

  • Character limitation for post copy is 2200.

Content Types 

In Gain’s post editor, you can choose from several different Instagram post types: photo (including carousel or albums), video, reels, animated gifs, photo, and video stories. Carousel posts are available for automatic publishing! We will go over each one below. 

Multiple images or carousel posts

With Gain, you can create single photo posts or Instagram carousels, or 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. Video files can be up to 100MB in size. Instagram allows direct publishing for single-video posts (1-60 seconds, 4:5 to 16:9 aspect ratio). All other videos must be published manually. 

You can choose a thumbnail after you've uploaded a video to Gain. See below: 

1. Under the section  Thumbnail Cover, click on the pencil icon. 

2. Then, drag the slider to the position in the video that you want to select as your cover. 

3. Click Save. Now your cover shows up in the preview to the left. 

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

Important: Animated GIFs must be manually published via Gain Notify.  


Photo Stories

Gain allows you to upload photo Stories created on Instagram or with your favorite tools (such as Canva, Adobe, etc.) to send for approval. You can upload up to 10 slides. Drag and drop or upload your ready-made Stories under the "Photo Story" and click Save.

Video Stories

To create video Stories, click on "Video Story", then 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. 

Reels

Click on the "Reel" post type and drag and drop your video. The maximum video length for a reel is 90 seconds, and the maximum size is 100MB. 

Important: Auto publishing is available for Reels that are 3 to 60 seconds long.

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.

How do I tag people and locations in Instagram posts? 

Gain does not support people and location tagging at this point, but you can use the Gain Notify app to publish your posts manually. Then, you can tag, mention or add locations directly in the Instagram app when posting. 

Direct Publishing via Gain

Gain will automatically publish all your images, carousels, and single-video posts once they're scheduled and approved. Just be sure your account is connected to Gain as a Business Account. Learn how to turn your Instagram accounts into Business accounts here.

Note: You can choose whether you want all Instagram single-photo, carousels, and single-video posts to be published automatically from Gain or designate a manual publisher to publish them manually. Click here to see how.

If your business accounts are connected to Buffer for direct publishing, and you'd like to switch to Gain for direct publishing, click here to learn how to disconnect Buffer from Gain

Set up Push Notifications via Gain Notify

Due to Instagram's API limitations, animated GIFs, photo stories, and video stories can not be published automatically from Gain.

You can designate a team member to be the manual publisher. Gain will notify this person via email when it's time to publish. They can also download the Gain Notify mobile app, which copies the content to their phone to make publishing easy. You can designate a manual publisher in the Workspace Settings menu under Social Channels. 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 installed the Gain Notify app, a push notification is sent via the app to the manual publisher when it’s time to post.

Notification from Gain Notify that says "Time to publish to Instagram"
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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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