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How to Schedule Instagram Reels for Free in 2 Ways

Instagram Reels are growing ever more popular. And it’s not just Gen Z who’s scrolling and consuming Reels on the daily. The Instagram app has been pushing video content harder than ever before, encouraging creators to embrace this format.

Echoing the success of TikTok, Instagram is constantly improving Reels and adding new features. In fact, in July 2022, Instagram announced that new video posts that are less than 15 minutes long will be shared as reels.

This big shift left a lot of users wondering: can you schedule Instagram Reels ahead of time?

The short answer is yes! You can schedule Reels for free natively or with a third-party scheduling tool. For example, Planable is an Instagram Reel scheduler that offers Direct Publishing.


Why schedule Reels ahead of time? | How to schedule Reels Natively with Creator Studio | How to schedule Reels for free with Planable | Instagram Reels Scheduling FAQs 

How do you schedule Reels for Instagram for free?

  1. via Facebook’s Creator Studio, where you can schedule Instagram and Facebook content
  2. via a third-party app like Planable, the social media tool that allows you to schedule posts for 7 social media platforms. You can schedule IG Reels within Planable just like you’d schedule Instagram posts.

5 reasons to schedule Instagram Reels in advance

A new report shows that Reels are generating the most reach (likes) on Instagram.

HypeAuditor research shows Reels in the first place by the number of likes received

So organizing your future Reels videos to keep your audience engaged pays off. A scheduling tool enables you to:

  • film and publish engaging content on Instagram consistently
  • free up time to work on your social media content strategy
  • use a social media calendar to plan and schedule Reels around events or holidays
  • take advantage of IG trends by filming multiple scenes in one day
  • measure the success of your Reels and experiment with different songs, hashtags, or publishing times.

Bonus tip: since we’re back at organizing events, creating a QR code for your event or holiday will make it easier for potential attendees to act on the event-related prompts you include in your Reels.

Schedule IG Reels with Facebook Creator Studio

If you’re looking to schedule Reels natively, here’s how you can do that in Facebook Creator Studio:

  1. From your business Facebook page, click on Creator Studio.
  2. From your Creator Studio homepage, click Create New and select Create Reel.
  3. Upload your video and add a caption.
  4. Click Next to Trim or Resize your video.
  5. Click Next and hit Publish Now, Schedule or Save as Draft.
  6. Click the Schedule button.

Schedule Reels in advance for free with Planable

1. Sign up to Planable. It’s free, it only takes 30 seconds, and you don’t need a credit card.

2. Connect your Instagram profile (and all the platforms where you want to schedule posts ahead of time).

in Planable, you can connect to 7 social media networks

3. From your workspace, click Compose, select the Instagram tab and open the Reels section.

4. Upload your video or choose one from the Media Library.

5. Optional: Edit the video thumbnail or Trim the video if necessary.

IG Reels trimming and editing options in Planable

6. Write your copy. Optional: schedule the first comment to include hashtags or tag relevant accounts.

“include first comment” button in Planable

7. Click Select date and time to choose when the Reel goes live.

choose a pre-defined or custom date and time when scheduling IG Reels in Planable

8. Click Save to schedule your Reels from your Instagram page within Planable.

Congrats! Your video will be automatically published to your Reels feed, and you don’t have to post manually anymore! Choose the perfect publishing time for your Reels and never miss peak engagement times ever again.

You can now enjoy Direct Publishing for Reels in Planable. To publish a Reel directly, you must meet these requirements:

  • Instagram Reels ratio: 9:16 (no more, no less)
  • Instagram Reels duration: between 5 and 90 seconds

Please note that if your post doesn’t fulfill both requirements, it will be published as a regular Instagram video, not a Reel, due to Instagram’s API limitations.

Download the iOS app on the AppStore or the Android app on Google Play to publish Reels to Instagram with Planable.

Why use Planable as your Instagram Reel Scheduler?

If you’re a social media manager or an agency with multiple clients, Planable helps you schedule Reels on Instagram, collaborate with others, and get reviews and approvals all in one place.

  • plan your feed in advance with pixel-perfect previews
  • share upcoming posts with colleagues, clients, or stakeholders
  • set multiple layers of approval (or none)
  • organize your Instagram grid ahead of time

What are the Instagram Reels video requirements?

Here’s what you need to keep in mind when you’re creating and scheduling Reels:

How long can Reels be?

Instagram Reels can be up to 90 seconds long.

What ratio do Reels need to be?

The Reels ratio is 9:16 or 1080 pixels x 1920 pixels or vertically full screen.

What is the in-feed ratio for Reels?

4:5 or 1080 X 1350 pixels or portrait.

What is the in-feed crop for Reels?

Crop the top 15%, and the bottom 15% off your Reels video.

Instagram Reels FAQs

What’s the best Instagram Reels Planner?

The best app to schedule Instagram Reels depends on your needs. If you only need to schedule Facebook and Instagram content, you can rely on Creator Studio or Facebook Business Suite.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to schedule content for more platforms and you need to collaborate with your team, a social media management tool like Planable will save you time and make your processes more efficient.

What are the best times to post Instagram Reels?

Each audience is different, so it’s important to check your Instagram insights to get an idea about your followers’ behavior.

Generally, the best time to post on Instagram reels is:

  • early in the morning: between 6 am – 8 am
  • mid-afternoon: between 2 pm – 4 pm
  • in the evening: between 8 pm – 10 pm

How do you organize your Reels?

You can plan and organize your future Reels content in an editorial calendar like the one Planable offers. The calendar allows you to see everything at a glance and spot gaps in your planning. You can plan content across different platforms and add different approval layers before posts go live.

Ready to Schedule Your First Reel with Planable?

Getting started is always the hardest! But creating and sharing IG Reels can help with visibility and business growth. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Create saveable content – when someone saves your Reel, it gives you a boost and signals that users love your content. Pro tip: encourage your followers to save your content so they can easily find it.
  • Publish user-generated content – make your audience feel special by reposting what they’ve shared with you. It’s a win-win situation where you post content, and your followers get a shout-out.
  • Share a quick tip – one of the best-performing types of Instagram Reels is sharing hacks, tips, behind the scene, or educational content. Be generous with the information and win your followers’ loyalty with valuable advice only you can share.

Read our full list of Instagram Reels ideas for even more inspiration.

Andreea Stefan
Andreea Stefan

Relentless advocate and practitioner of putting users before Google algorithms since 2016. Geeks out over everything tech SEO. Dabbles in photography and is a natural-born reader.

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