Ever noticed how Instagram doesn’t allow you to schedule posts, like Facebook does?
Well Melbourne- based entrepreneur Hugh Stephens noticed, and has managed to create a $3 million start-up to solve this problem!
Stephens has used Instagrams ‘missing’ feature as his opportunity to create a niche start-up called ‘Schedugram,’ which posts content on behalf of clients.
News outlets, brands, celebrities, large agencies often rely on schedule posting to keep followers interested, but Instagram doesn’t have this feature unlike other platforms.
Rather than do it for themselves, many pay Schedugram to do it for them, and Stephens is the first to admit that the idea sounds crazy.
By using a literal wall of smartphones, content is posted on behalf of clients in what may seem one of the most low-tech ways imaginable! The original concept was built in a period over 6 weeks, where a customised cluster of smartphones that hold Instagram posts, are placed in a queue and then posted at the clients requested time.
The cost of the service is upward of $20 a month depending on the amount of Instagram followers.
The majority of Schedugram’s clients come from the US and Europe, with a “surprising” number in the Middle East, plus some in Asia and around 20 per cent from Australia.
Stephens says everyone from small business owners, cafes, restaurants and popular Instagram “meme” accounts to some of the biggest fashion and media brands and global advertising agency groups use the service.
The start-up is run by a team of six distributed around the world, with development done in India and Bulgaria, customer support in the Philippines and account management in the US.
Stephens, acknowledges that Instagram could potentially “kill off” his business if it ever offers a scheduling feature, but admits he never expected it to last this long anyway.
“That’s kind of part and parcel with the business — it is certainly a niche service to some degree,” he said.
“I first built it when we had a quiet time in consulting as something I could give to a couple of my agency mates as a favour. I thought it would probably last about six months and then disappear.
Schedugram is continuously being sought after by brands, but there is the always the possibility that Instagram will include this feature to it’s users. For now though, Hugh Stephens is running with a winning business!