If you own a business or simply work in the very vague field of social media for someone else, you’d already know that certain platforms are good for targeting specific audiences.
Instagram In particular seems to have the ability to reach a younger audience, because reading is for adults and pictures are fun. Business gets this and business are all about getting involved.
But what Instagram doesn’t give you that most of the others do, is the ability to schedule posts. This can be quite the time consuming pickle for businesses and users alike.
Enter Schedugram, a $3 million startup born in Melbourne that will schedule your posts as you wish, and thus, close a rather large gap for those who employ a full time Instagrammer or spend entirely too much time posting memes.
We had a chat with the 26-year-old founder, Hugh Stephens, about how the service works, how he came up with the idea and what the hell he’ll do if Instagram decide to let people schedule posts on their own again.
Launched in 2014, Hugh says the system involves a server and a bunch of smartphones. No, really, it’s a wall of smartphones.
“All the phones are attached to a server and the server does most of the heavy lifting,” he said.
This server takes care of the bulk of the scheduling for clients, but every now and then they might have to tend to a phone that’s on the fritz.
“We still have to sort of poke and prod the phones every now and then, but it’s usually because one of them has decided to have a bit of hissy fit or its WiFi’s decided to disconnect and we need to muck with the settings or whatever it is.”
After ditching a degree in medicine at Monash University, Hugh founded a social media and digital consulting business which is where he came up with the idea for the phone-walled startup.
“We were looking at, I guess, some of the areas of their work that was the most inefficient and time wasting, and quite consistently, across almost all of the ones we were speaking to at the time, Instagram was this big time sink for them,” he said.
Do Instagram know about this sneaky little venture? Hugh reckons they probs do, but the real question is, will they eventually blow it all away with a few lines of simple code?
“I don’t know whether they’ll necessarily introduce it into their own software,” he said, adding that the feature could be implemented just as quickly as it was originally removed.
Back in the early days, Instagram did actually allow its users to schedule their own posts, but removed the feature due to there being no way of controlling the monumental spam-fest that ensued.
“Since then they’ve obviously had other focuses, but I have no doubt that one day they’ll return back to a similar kind of focus and look at how they can improve the experience for brands.”
As for what he’ll do when that day arrives, Hugh reckons he’ll target other social media shortfalls on platforms like Pinterest, which would actually be an easy port of the already established software.
“We focused so heavily on the image and video side of it that it doesn’t quite translate as well [to Facebook or Twitter]. We’d have to re-write a lot stuff for it, whereas for Pinterest, we’d actually probably be able to keep most of the stuff we already have.”
We wish Hugh, his team and his wall of phones all the best!
Source: Hugh Stephens.