Buffer is a service that allows you to monitor and post to your social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and App.net. This includes queueing up posts to be shared at a later time or date, monitoring information such as retweets, likes, and replies on posts, and more. The Buffer for iPhone app allows you to take the service with you wherever you are and check data or post things on the fly. This can be especially useful for business owners that find value in knowing how well their social media techniques are working.
Once you've downloaded the Buffer for iPhone app you can either sign into an existing Buffer account or create a new one. You can sign up for the Buffer service for free and start adding your accounts but you'll be limited to how many accounts you can add on a free plan. If you want to add Facebook pages and multiple Twitter accounts, you'll need to subscribe to the paid plan for $9.99/month through the Buffer site. Free users are also limited to how many posts they can buffer at once as well where paid users have no limitations on posts and can add up to 12 accounts.
While Buffer does work great for free users that just want to monitor their personal profiles, it's really geared towards business owners and those using social networks as marketing tools. Buffer allows you to queue up posts quickly and easily for any of the accounts you'd like. It will then share them with those networks at certain intervals that you've scheduled with the Buffer service online. You can also choose a post now option if you'd rather share the post now instead of queueing it for a later time. Schedules with Buffer are a great way to prevent a social networking site from going stagnant and this is especially important for businesses who need to keep their users engaged.
When it comes to actually queuing up and buffering content, you can embed content from tons of places and include photos, links, and many other media types. Buffer is widely supported across several apps such as Feedly, Reeder, Instapaper, and many more. You can even email things to your Buffer account instantly.
The actual Buffer app for iPhone doesn't give you a lot of the same functionality that you get with the website version but it does the trick while on the go. You can view posts that are ready to go up as well as post them now, edit, or delete them. Unfortunately, you can't change the posting time within the app or schedules at all for that matter. The developers do say that scheduling options are coming to the iPhone app, we just aren't sure when just yet. Some people may not like having to be tethered to a web version of a service but this will be the case, at least for now, with Buffer.
The app will, however, let you view statistics on posts. For instance, with Twitter you can view already posted items and the analytics data for them such as how many people responded to it, retweeted it, or favorited it. You'll also see a potential number of people that may see that post. The more retweets you get, the higher that number will be. The same concept holds true for Facebook, LinkedIn, and App.net.
- Inexpensive way to manage your networks from the computer and while on the go
- Nice interface that's easy to navigate around
- Support for many of the most popular networks
- Users who don't want to pay a fee can use the Buffer service with their personal accounts, just not actual business pages
- You can post directly to business pages and Twitter accounts simultaneously, there aren't very many apps out there that let you do this
- Widely supported by many other apps and platforms, including browser extensions
- No Instagram support, this would be killer for sharing photos to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram simultaneously
- If you need to edit a Buffer, you'll have to do it across all the networks you've queued it up for - this can be irritating
- There's no way to change the post time within the Buffer for iPhone app, only post now or queue at the next available time
- Deleting a post will have to be done across all networks it is shared to individually
The bottom line
Buffer for iPhone is meant to be a complimentary app to an already great service. While the web version is definitely more powerful and where you're meant to spend most of your time, it would still be nice to see some of the web options become available on the iPhone.
It'd also be epic to see Instagram support come to Buffer. I currently can't find any app that will let you post to a Twitter page, Facebook business page, and Instagram all at once and it's something a lot of business users would benefit from.
Aside from that, Buffer is a great service that's very reasonably price and if used correctly, can greatly help businesses better manage their social networks and boost them to their full potential.
- Free (limited features without a Buffer subscription) - Download Now
iMore senior editor from 2011 to 2015.