Plann vs Later.com: Which Instagram Scheduling Tool Reigns Supreme?

Plann vs Later.com: Which Instagram Scheduling Tool Reigns Supreme?

January 8, 2023
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10.54%

Monthly
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Daily Budget
$5000

Daily
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Click-through rate increase
60%

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15%

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Segmentation

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Click-through rate increase
#3

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Responses

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#4

Consumer
Change

See Who Comes Out On Top For The Best Instagram Scheduling Tool


Do you want more from your Instagram efforts? You must post at precisely the right time with perfectly crafted captions while maintaining a cohesive feed. And the best way to do that is by using an Instagram scheduling tool like Plann or Later.com.



Both tools allow you to schedule posts for social media, plan your aesthetic feed, get hashtag suggestions, and easily discover the best time to post. Their basic operations are identical - they are all connected to Social Media Platform’s Posting APIs and can post content upon your authentication. However, their UI design, user experience, professional expertise, other additional features, and pricing plans are unique.


By using each tool for several weeks, I’ve managed to pit Plann and Later.com against each other to discover which scheduler reigns supreme. 


Plann or Later.com? Let’s learn How Scheduling Works First


What should I get technical first? Simple, because I like burying myself into an item’s root, mechanism and operating principle to truly understand its advantages and shortcomings. 


Also, you will understand faster and see if these tools suit you. In this article, we will just talk about Instagram content scheduling. 


Both Plann and Later.com use Instagram Graph API and Basic Display API to manage several scheduling features. This means the limitations of Instagram’s schedule are not up to the service providers like Plann or Later.com. Instead, it’s entirely up to the API. You should expect using scheduling tools to accomplish the following:



If you feel like it’s too much to read, don't worry - I made a simple behind-the-scene & a summary table for you to learn about the good and not-so-good parts.

Infographic to shows four steps to understand instagram scheduling tools using blue, orange colours
How Instagram Scheduling Tool Works, Source: DEANLONG.io, Image Source: Canva


Instagram Graph APIs Comparison

 

Instagram Graph API

Instagram Basic Display API

Applicable Users

Instagram Business Accounts

(If your Insta is not connected to a FB Biz Page then it ain’t a Biz account)

Instagram Consumer Accounts

(non-Business or non-Creator Instagram accounts)

Functionalities

The Catch
(Include but not limited to)

·      Eligibility - only work for Business Accounts

·      Insight - unable to retrieve age-gated content,  any <100 follower accounts

·      Insight – 2 years expiration date.

·      Hashtag – max 30 tags in a 7-day rolling, and hashtags on Stories are not supported 

·      Mentions on Stories are not supported.

·      You can’t comment on photos in which you were tagged.

·      25 API-published posts within a 24-hour period

·      JPEG, MOV or MP4 only

·      Unable to publish content

·      Unable to retrieve data from boosted posts

·      Unable to retrieve data from IGTV, Stories, Reels, and Comments

·      Unable to retrieve any insights

·      Only supports retrieving grid posts like images, video, or album

Reference

https://developers.facebook.com/docs/instagram-api

https://developers.facebook.com/docs/instagram-basic-display-api


As such, Auto-Publishing Only Works For Business Accounts on Instagram

 

Only Business Instagram Profile Allows Auto-Publishing & Full Analytics, Source: Plann

Later.com constantly shows error message to remind me of my insta account type

{While my insta account is a creator account, Plann still requires a connected FB page even tho I don't have one}


Plann or Later.comWhy Use an Instagram Scheduling Tool?


There are multiple benefits to using an Instagram scheduler. Some of them are as follows:


  • Post when your audience is most active — Depending on your audience’s activity levels, there is a perfect time to post. Working this out is much easier when you use an automatic tool. Later.com and Plann offer the “Best Time to Post” function, allowing you to rearrange your posting periods for maximum impact. 


  • No rush when writing captions — Since you’re crafting posts ahead of time, you don’t need to rush when writing flawless captions and choosing hashtags. Instagram schedulers suggest hashtags for you! Later.com’s Hashtags Generator and Plann’s Hashtags Manager provide convenience for hashtag research and ensure your content is tagged to the correct category.


  • Saves time — Ultimately, scheduling your social media posts in bulk from one easy-to-use application saves loads of time. You can then utilize this newfound freedom to engage with your audience or conduct other pressing business tasks. 


Plann vs Later.com — How I’ll Compare Them


Now we know the core function of a scheduling tool is heavily relying on the official APIs. I’ve compared them on the following four factors to decide which is the best of the best Instagram scheduling tool:


  1. Pricing plans
  2. Analytics
  3. Social inbox and brand calendar
  4. Standout features
  5. Personal thoughts on UX and UI


Plann vs Later.com — How I’ll Compare Them

 

Plann

Later.com

Winner

Customer Reviews

4.4/5 Reviews Here (Android)

4.7/5 Reviews Here (IOS)

 

3.4/5 Reviews Here

Plann

Pricing Plan

  • 7-day free trial
  • Limited featured free plan
  • Power User $14 per month
  • Build $28 per month
  • Grow $75 per month
  • 14-day free trial
  • Limited featured free plan
  • Starter $18 per month
  • Growth $40 per month
  • Advanced $80 per month

Plann

Compatible Platforms

Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, LinkedIn, and Pinterest

Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, LinkedIn, and Pinterest

Both

Analytics

Visual interface, at-a-glance overall performance metrics, multi-platform performance, and individual post performance

Easy-to-read analytics dashboard, improved insights with Growth and Advanced plans

Plann

Social Inbox

Simple overview of all accounts, ability to reply to comments

Reply to comments and messages from the dashboard

Both

Access Monitoring

Online

Online

Both

Unified Brand Calendar

Yes

Yes

Both

Deployment

SaaS/Web/Cloud, Android and iOS app

SaaS/Web/Cloud, Android and iOS app

Both

Customer Base

Individuals, freelancers, small-to-medium businesses, large corporations

Individuals, freelancers, small-to-medium businesses, large corporations

Both


Plann and Later.com both conduct their primary job — auto-publishing and scheduling social media posts — incredibly well. But the differences in some categories are made stark by the above table (and even starker with my in-depth analysis below).

Compare Plann and Later.com - Pricing Plans

Plann Pricing Plan

Plann offers a seven-day free trial for all their pricing models, and you can even stick to their free version for life (although you won't get access to all the features).

There are four plans to choose from:


Plann Pricing Plans

 

Free

Power User

Build

Grow

Monthly Price

$0

$14

$28

$75

Users

1

1

2

4

Brands

One brand

One brand, one of each social media platform

Two brands, one of each platform

Five brands, one of each platform

Media Uploads

120 items

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

Video Files

max. 30" long

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

Customizable Calendar

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Mobile App

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Team Communication

No

Limited

Yes

Yes

Features

 

Drag-and-drop planning, caption libraries, hashtag suggestions, and link in bio tool

Everything in the previous plan, plus approval flows and more

Everything in the previous plans, plus one-click cross-posting


For larger organisations, Plann offers custom plans with specialised pricing. 

Later.com Pricing Plan

Later.com offers a free plan and a 14-day free trial for its paid versions. 


You can choose from the following plans:


Later.com Pricing Plan

 

Starter

Growth

Advanced

Monthly Price

$18

$40

$80

Users

1

3

6

Social Sets

1 of each platform

3 of each platform

6 of each platform

Number of Posts per Social Profile

30

150 

Unlimited

Extra social sets allowed?

No

Yes, for $15 per month per set

Yes, for $15 per month per set

Extra users allowed?

No

Yes, for $5 per month per user

Yes, for $15 per month per set

Features

Collab tools for creators and Linkin.bio page

Everything from the previous plan, plus collab tools for brands and management tools for teams and brands

Everything from the previous plans, plus live chat support


How They Compare

While Later.com offers a longer free trial, Plann is cheaper and provides more value for money. I was able to experience the "Build" plan and Later.com's "Free" plan. Here are my thoughts:


  1. While Plann is cheaper, it's essentially $14 per brand, and it's adding a few more bucks for a higher plan. So if you have more than 3 brands to manage, Later.com might be worth exploring.
  2. Plann's UI makes it a bit difficult to find your billing and subscription information.
  3. Plann is more flexible in adding more users & managing more brands. At the same time, Later.com only allows a certain number of users on each plan. This creates a security issue if you share one account with multiple users.
  4. Plann has unlimited media upload, video files and posts starting from its second plan, while Later.com still has a quota of 150.


Thus, Plann wins this round. 


Compare Plann and Later.com - Analytics

Plann Analytics


Plann offers in-depth analytics in an easily navigable, aesthetically pleasing visual interface. They've acknowledged that analytics can be overwhelming and have worked to remedy that. 


Every plan gives you access to in-depth statistics, allowing you to skyrocket growth. Some interesting metrics available include: (For whoever couldn't find the analytics in Plann, they are in the "Result" tab at the top navigation bar)


  • Best time to post
  • Best-performing colour palettes
  • At-a-glance performance indicators for the last week, month, three months, or lifetime
  • Individual post performance (hashtag analytics, engagement rates, etc.)
  • Completion and reach rates

Plann offers best colour schemes analytics for your social media posts

Later.com Analytics

Later.com puts its in-depth analytics behind price gates, unlocking deeper insights as you upgrade through the plans. 

Free and Starter plans give you an analytics dashboard that includes:

  • Total post number
  • Follower/following count
  • Linkin.bio clicks
  • Top five best-performing posts
  • Number of likes and comments on your last 30 posts

Growth and Advanced plans offer all the above plus the following insights over the past year:

  • Followers
  • Reach
  • Impressions
  • Profile and website clicks
  • Engagement rate

How They Compare

As you can see, apart from the standard post metrics, Plann offers colour pallets analytics, giving you more insight into long-term creative design. Moreover, when you post the same creative from your media repository multiple times, Plann can calculate the accumulated engagements in that media and report the overall media performance. However, I can't find the hashtag analytics in the Plann and they encourage us to use Instagram to find the amount of mentions instead of showing it on the interface. Based on what I understand, the API does not offer this data, which explains both platforms' limitations on hashtag search. 

online follower metric in Instagram graph API


Tips of finding the right hashtag from Plann - I find it very useful:
  1. Use 30 hashtags, yes, 30 hashtags.
  2. Hashtags with high mentions (for example, over 1M+ uses) are very, very difficult to be noticed in. For hashtags with 1M+ mentions, avoid them, or use sparingly.
  3. Look for niche hashtags that are relevant to your target audience, not what’s directly in your image.
  4. Think about what terms your audience might be searching, or what hashtags might be relevant to your industry.
  5. We recommend using hashtags that have between 250k - 750k mentions.
  6. If you are bricks and mortar, research location based hashtags (or team up with locals in your area!)


Further than that, both scheduling tools offer complete analytics in a digestible format perfect for beginners to high-level marketers. However, Plann just pips Later.com to the post, as you can access more unique insight & all other metrics without paying for more expensive plans. 


Compare Plann and Later.com - Social Inbox and Brand Calendar


Plann's Strategy Calendar & Best Times To Post

Plann offers a fully customisable drag-and-drop brand calendar, with event templates available for all plans. You can even build your own!


You can see a preview of your Instagram grid with all your scheduled posts (perfect for designing a holistic Insta Grid Look), and my favourite part, you can choose from "Your best times to post" or "When your audience is most online" to schedule your post in just one click.


Plann's strategy calendar

Choose the best times to post in Plann


Later.com's Social Inbox

Later.com provides a so-called social inbox, where all messages and comments linked to the brand appear in one dashboard. You can respond to all engagements from inside the scheduler. 


The drag-and-drop calendar has somewhat limited customisations. 


Posting Time Options Explained


Your "Best Times to Post" is calculated based on engagement from your previously posted content. This shows you when your audience is most online + most likely to engage (like, comment, share, etc.) with your content!


"When your follower is most online" is based on when your followers are most active on social media. For more detailed insights, open Creator Studio > navigate to your Instagram profile > Open the Insights tab > Select Audience. Then scroll down to see when your followers are on Instagram. You can hover over any hour to see the number of followers active at any time on any day of the week.


Meta Business Suite's Creator Studio show you when your followers are most active


I think they all come from Instagram Graph API using GET /{ig-user-id}/insights. "When your follower is most online" uses online_followers metric and has results returned in an array of 24-hour periods. ""Best Times to Post" combines engaged_audience_demographics and has results returned in an array of 24-hour periods.


You can also respond to messages from inside the platform, which is another excellent addition.


How They Compare


While both offer very similar features here, I prefer Plann's interface. Plus, the curated templates are a nice touch. 


Compare Plann and Later.com - Standout Feature


Plann's Other Features

Plann is more than an Instagram scheduler. The tool provides custom content strategies and even done-for-you post ideas like:

  • Royalty-free images and videos
  • Daily content ideas
  • Pre-written captions
  • Industry and sales plans

Plann's Instagram Post Editor


Later.com Other Features


I love that you can reply to TikTok comments from inside the Later.com dashboard. On top of that, you can direct and redistribute posts that your audience tags you in. 


How They Compare


Both tools offer a range of features that will help grow your business. However, the pre-crafted content and purpose-built strategic plans provided by Plann give it an edge over Later.com.


The Winner — Plann


While this Plann and Later.com comparison has highlighted the brilliant features of both schedulers, Plann wins, thanks to its gorgeous interface, in-depth analytics included in all plans, and the done-for-you content solutions. 



References:

  • https://developers.facebook.com/products/instagram/apis/
  • https://developers.facebook.com/docs/instagram-api/guides/content-publishing
  • https://business.instagram.com/blog/instagram-api-features-updates/
  • https://www.plannthat.com/later-alternative/
  • https://meganbrame.com/best-instagram-app/
  • https://www.plannthat.com/
  • https://www.saasworthy.com/compare/plann-vs-later?pIds=1202,2085
  • https://www.hopperhq.com/blog/planoly-vs-later/
  • https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/planoly-vs-later-which-best-instagram-scheduler-awais-younas/
  • https://www.plannthat.com/
  • https://later.com/
  • https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/later.com
  • https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.webhaus.planyourgramScheduler&amp;hl=en_GB&amp;gl=US&amp;pli=1
  • https://www.plannthat.com/pricing/
  • https://later.com/pricing/
  • https://www.plannthat.com/instagram-analytics/
  • https://help.later.com/hc/en-us/articles/360043245753-A-Guide-to-Later-s-Instagram-Analytics

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Dean Long | Expert in Growth MarketingHongxin(Dean) Long

Dean Long is a Sydney-based performance marketing and communication professional with expertise in paid search, paid social, affiliate and digital advertising. He's also a distinct MBA Graduate from Western Sydney University.

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