Who Is Later?
Later is a social marketing media platform. Since its beginnings in 2014 as the ultimate Instagram scheduler the company grew rapidly. It now includes tools for Facebook, Pinterest,Twitter and LinkedIn, and goes beyond simply helping you organize your posts.
Later takes a visual approach; in fact they insist upon it. Every post you schedule on Later starts by dropping an image. Later treats social media as a space that’s best leveraged with visuals as its strength. Though they obviously handle other media well, there’s no question visual imagery is their anchor.
When you come to Later’s site you’re impressed by how they use imagery to ease navigation and give information. The site is intuitive and clearly marked. They say their goal is to simplify. Links are easy to follow. When you do follow them, you get clear information and strong ‘how to’ language.
Later takes great care to be helpful, while giving you a lot of leeway, support and capability to make decisions on your own. You can follow their suggestions, or follow your own initiative based on the information and tools they give you.
The company has four million global customers. They proudly tout being Instagram Partner Program and Pinterest Marketing Partner members. Their pricing is reasonable. It starts at ‘free’ and ends at a very manageable premium price. Their features are rich and very on point. Most of the services are pragmatic with clearly defined benefits that deliver what you pay for.
What Does Later Really Offer?
The company uses truly drag and drop scheduling. The process starts with an image and builds outward from there. You can schedule weekly or monthly. It’s easy to toggle between views. Though Instagram and Pinterest are natural fits for Later’s visual approach, the other social platforms are treated well also. No feature or media is left out. Your scheduling can be as robust and detailed as you like.
All your media is stored with Later. They have no limit on the number of uploads you make, File sizes seem to be limited more by requirements from the social media sites themselves rather than by Later. The files are kept onsite forever unless you delete them. There seems to be no limit to the total storage space you’re allowed. These particular unlimited features come even at the free pricing level. Practically all media is allowed, including video and audio files.
You’re able to edit media on Later’s site. This includes image grading, rotation and sizing. You can add text to pictures. You can edit written entries or listen to synced audio also. The planner ably handles Instagram stories and other full package posts.
For the nuts and bolts of planning itself Later is just as feature rich. You get analytics like engagement rates and post times, including suggestions, or evaluations of your own user generated entries. A real Instagram style grid display shows you a preview of your proposed post. You can organize your hashtags. Later’s interface gives you hashtag suggestions and analyzes your user generated tags.
A unique feature offered by Later is called LinkIn Bio. This module expands your profile, and it links dynamically to your other social media presences. LinkIn tracks sales; it embeds where you place it, and updates to linked sites and media. It also organizes your sources and contacts, with attribution and description information attached for future reference.
How Much Does All This Cost?
Later starts off with a free level plan that allows one user. There are four plans in total. For the paid plans you get a seventeen percent discount if you pay annually. The plans all include one social set, which is a set of profiles that includes one Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Tik Tok and LinkedIn profile each. The paid plans allow you to add social sets and users. They each have different posting limits for their prices, which are listed below:
- Free $0 (always free; never auto converts) You get one user and one social set. You are limited to thirty posts per social profile per month. You cannot add users or social sets to the free plan.
- Starter $12.50/month You get one user and one social set. You are limited to sixty posts per social profile per month. It costs $12.50/month each to add a social set and $5.00/month each to add a user.
- Growth $20.83 You get three users and one social set. You are limited to one hundred fifty posts per social profile per month. It costs $20.83/month each to add a social set and $5.00/month each to add a user.
- Advanced $33.33 You get six users and one social set. You have unlimited posts for all social profiles each month. It costs $33.33/month each to add a social set and $5.00/month each to add a user.
So What Are The Pros And Cons To Using Later?
All Later’s pros and cons are really centered around its beginnings as an Instagram scheduler. While it handles Instagram extraordinarily well and expanded beautifully to include other platforms, there are some feature that can give you pause.
Let’s look at the good things first. You can’t beat a good product being free. Later makes it easy for you to start with them by offering that obviously affordable price point. The free plan isn’t a beggar’s offering, either. Its features work just as well as if you were paying for them. Another good feature is the unlimited upload and free media storage. It lets you plan ahead, with a robust library of material at your fingers. This is especially important if you’re into archiving or referencing your earlier material. Also Later’s large customer base is a good sign. A company with a lot of users will probably be around for a while, so you can plan to have a future with their service.
If you’re not comfortable being visually driven, then Later may not be for you. Lots of social media users are driven by writing their thoughts down first. Even if the internet has a strong visual focus, being pushed by that attitude might turn you off.
There’s also a downside to using a service that makes Instagram so central. Instagram can be more restrictive than the other social media platforms at times, particularly in its set-up. Some of these quirks are reflected in the set up procedures required by Later. Of course all platforms have their idiosyncrasies. Just like its counterparts, once you get past Instagram’s peculiarities, the rest is pretty smooth sailing. If those particulars, or the image driven attitude, don’t bother you, then there’s really nothing wrong with Later. It’s a well constructed platform that markets at a great price. It’s also pretty easy to use and delivers on its promise of simplicity in the service of high quality.
(Banner Photo by Icons8 Team on Unsplash)