What Happened to the Buffer API?
The Buffer API was a long time social media favorite, but was deprecated in 2019.
I was an avid user of Buffer and the Buffer API for social media posting, and still to this day love their dashboard’s uncluttered interface and simple workflows. Many years ago when I started my previous company I had a plan that 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. No problem, right?
The plan of “every day…” 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.
However, I realized why bother with my own content since my users created content on my platform, such as images and videos, and had already been asking for an easy way to share to their own social networks such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. How could I allow my user to authorize their social account and then schedule posts, and inevitably get analytics and comments, on their behalf? Why, the Buffer API!
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 create a dialogue with my users that is so essential for brand and reputation building. If you have a platform, agency, or CMS, it is especially important to allow you users to directly publish right from your platform. Asking them to download the content and go off to each social site, well, they generally won’t do it.
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 post to your users’ social account via an API right from your app. Instead of having to ask my users to download the content, I could automate the entire process for them. All I needed was an API I could send my posts through.
I went back to Buffer to use their API and bam!
In 7 short years, or maybe long years in tech, Buffer went from offering an API to getting rid of it.
So what happened to Buffer’s API?
Based on the email Loomly got from Buffer, it looks like Buffer and their users 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 social APIs out there and it really is needed if you want to automated your social media.
But that is why we have Ayrshare’s social media APIs. With my co-founder, we built Ayrshare first for ourselves and then for users to automate posting to social media networks via an API. Check our how we are a great Buffer API Alternative and how we protect our customers with our proprietary Social Post Verification System.