What Happened to Buffer’s API?

Buffer’s API is no more.

I was an avid user of Buffer. For several companies I worked at or founded, I used Buffer to manually schedule my social media posts. Every day I would start my morning with researching post content material, writing a few posts, and scheduling these post to go out later in the day.

However, I quickly slowed down with creating these manual posts; I became distracted with other priorities as my company grew, or it was just laziness to think of new posts every day. Regardless, my social media engagement decreased as I posted less, which sucked.

Social media is an extension of your company identity in a way that is personal to your community.

Every founder and consumer-facing business leader knows how important social media is to growing a brand. Social media is an extension of your company identity in a way that is personal to your community. In a way that no other medium allows, my social media accounts allows me to connect to users in a real or perceived dialogue that is so essential for brand and reputation building.

As with most things in life, if it’s worth doing, it takes real effort.

Then I read an article, which I’m still hunting for, that was a slap your head “of course” moment: you can automate your organic social media. Instead of having to manually post every day I could take my existing content and post from my server-side, automating the entire process. I had tons of great data that could be automatically posted. All I needed was an API I could send my post through.

I went back to Buffer to use their API and bam!

The Message: Go Away

WTF!

In 7 short years, or maybe long years in tech, Buffer went from offering and API to getting rid of it.

So what happened?

Based on the email Loomly got from Buffer, it at first looks like Buffer got in trouble with the social networks:

We’ve determined that we can no longer permit certain usage of the Buffer API, especially when the posting goes beyond the stated agreements we have with the social networks.

Ok, but simple abuse of posting happens whether manual or automatic. And you can build in safeguards, thresholds, and other protection mechanisms.

And then we come to:

After an audit of existing API integrations, we’ve chosen to revoke access to third-party tools that provide similar functionality to Buffer’s core product, i.e. scheduling social media posts directly via social network APIs. These products can no longer utilize the Buffer API.

Ah ha! Companies that essentially used Buffer as a proxy to post were no longer wanted as Buffer seemed to narrow its focus to media agencies. In this context, such a strategy to de-emphasize the API makes sense. After all, most agencies have teams of people creating content and manually scheduling and posting all day long.

It is a shame that Buffer dropped their API since there is a shortage of good solutions out there and it really is needed if you want to automated your social media.

This is the reason we created Ayrshare. We built it first for ourselves and then for users to automate posting to social media networks via an API.

So in a way, thanks Buffer!