Later vs Buffer Vs Flick

Boosting Your Instagram Marketing: Later, Buffer or Flick?

What tool is going to help you get the most out of Instagram? In this comparison, we'll be comparing the features and offerings of Later, Buffer & Flick!

Person holding up flick logo and hashtagsforlikes logo

Leveling up your Instagram marketing is more important than ever. With 1 billion active users – and counting – Instagram has the potential to boost your business to new heights. 

To become influential, you’ll need Instagram marketing tools that streamline post creation and optimize your strategy through analytics. Two top tools – Later and Buffer – have different strengths that can get you results. But do they offer in-depth analytics and the right features to help you grow fast?

If you’re looking for an alternative to Later and Buffer, you may be interested in a tool like Flick that goes beyond just post creation and scheduling. Flick is best known for its hashtag and analytics features, but it can now help you plan and schedule your content ahead of time too.  Flick helps you optimize your Instagram marketing where you need it most: through data and analytics

Here we’ll compare Later, Buffer and Flick, so you can discover which Instagram marketing tool may be best for your specific business needs.

Key Differences of Later vs. Flick

1. Flick powers up your growth through hashtags, analytics and scheduling, while Later focuses on creating beautiful posts.

To start, Flick gives you the data-driven insights you need to win over new users on Instagram. In-depth hashtag data such as the Competition Score and Potential Reach Score allow you to plan content that actually reaches and makes an impact on your target Instagrammers. 

Later is less focused on the numbers, but it does help design stunning posts. Using the Visual Planner, you can drag-and-drop to make great content, plus find the Best Time to Post and schedule it for later. You can also add photos directly from Unsplash.

2. Flick helps you reach untapped audiences, while Later lets you discover on-brand content.

Flick is all about getting your message seen by the right folks and making the process of running your Instagram account as easy as possible. This starts with finding relevant hashtags based on your niche and adding them to your Collection. You can also track hashtag performance, audit your hashtags and get hashtag data such as Rank Ratio, Times Ranked and Daily Average Post Count (DAPC). 

Later also has a hashtag tool, but it's fairly basic. However, if you’re looking for inspiration for your posts or want to jump on on-brand content, Later uses advanced filters to find amazing user-generated content

What is Later?

Later is a one-stop Instagram marketing tool founded in 2014 that now has 4 million users globally. Its mission is simple: to aid in visually planning and scheduling your Instagram content. Top brands such as Patagonia, Fast Company and USA Today use Later to build their Instagram businesses. 

Later's Key Features

Feature 1: Benefit from the Visual Instagram Planner.

To start, Later offers a robust Visual Planner so you can plan great content. Its drag-and-drop feature makes it easy to bring together your photos/videos. Plus, you can find out the Best Time to Post and schedule it so that your content reaches the most users possible. You can even do this from multiple profiles, which is a nice bonus if you’ve got several handles to manage.

Feature 2: Discover on-brand content.

Hop on user-generated content that’s on-brand. Later helps you discover this content through advanced filters. Simply search by hashtag, mentions and more in order to get that on-brand content you need.

Feature 3: Schedule posts, stories and a First Comment.

Perfect your post and schedule the first comment on it. You can save your favorite hashtags as a caption to keep your post nice and tidy. Later also lets you schedule stories in addition to posts.


Later pricing is based on features available on each tier, as well as the number of posts per profile:

  • Free $0/month: 10 posts per profile, 1 social set.
  • Basics $8/month: 30 posts per profile, 1 social set.
  • Starter $15/month: 60 posts, 1 social set, plus add-ons.
  • Growth $25/month: 150 posts, 1 social set, plus add-ons.
  • Advanced $40/moth: Unlimited posts, 1 social set, plus add-ons.

While the growth tier is the most popular, you may benefit from a basic or starter plan if you’re a small-scale business. Interestingly, when it’s available, the price for the social sets add-on increases the higher the package tier you are in, going from $15/month each with the Starter Plan to $40/month each for the Advanced one.

Pros and Cons


  • Excellent Visual planner.
  • Easy to discover user-generated content.
  • You can schedule posts, stories and a first comment.
  • Lots of trusted clients (4 million!).


  • Hashtag tools are minimal and don’t show competition metrics.
  • Analytics are focused on posts.

Key Differences of Buffer vs. Flick

1. While Buffer focuses on post analytics, Flick has a more robust suite of analytics.

Buffer’s Analyze feature is great for digging into post analytics and pulling custom reports, including Best Time to Post, Best Type of Post and Best Posting Frequency. This tool is aimed at optimizing the when, what and how of your posts, so you can earn more follower engagement. 

Flick also offers Post Analytics (including Best Time to Post and more), but it doesn’t stop there. Not only does Flick offer a robust suite of hashtag analytics, but it also has a Competition Score, Potential Reach Score, Ratio Rank and more. 

2. Buffer’s Hashtag Managers is focused on collecting top-performing hashtags, while Flick helps you rank for top-performing hashtags.

Buffer’s Hashtag Manager is excellent for organizing all your best hashtags and adding them to your posts with one click. This type of library of options helps streamline the posting process. But it doesn’t really have competition difficulty metrics to show if you can realistically rank for those hashtags.

Flick’s hashtag tools are focused on both organizing and optimizing hashtags. With smart hashtag audits, advanced hashtag metrics and more, you can find the best possible competitive hashtags to rank for – as well as add them to your Collection.

What is Buffer?

Buffer is an all-in-one social media marketing tool founded in 2020, with 75,000 customers to date. It provides tools to analyze, publish and engage with your following on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Top brands such as Huckberry, Access Ventures and Basecamp use Buffer for their social media needs. 

Buffer's Key Features

Feature 1: Use a Hashtag Manager to find top-performing groups.

Buffer’s Hashtag Manager lets you discover top-performing groups and saves them to your library of options. From there, you can easily add these hashtags to your posts. 

Feature 2: Schedule posts, stories and a First Comment on your posts.

Buffer lets you set up your posts and schedule them for later using a push notification. You can also create a first comment for your post in case you want to add extra hashtags.

Feature 3: Get top custom reports on Instagram metrics.

Buffer has a unique reporting system, where you can create custom reports with different Instagram metrics, as well as daily reports as needed.


Buffer offers two different plans based on the features you want, as well as the number of social channels and posts you schedule. 

  • Free $0/month per channel: 3 social channels and 10 scheduled posts per channel. 
  • Essentials $5/month per channel: Unlimited social channels and scheduled posts, plus extra features.

Note that the free version doesn’t include any of the advanced Instagram features, such as Hashtag Manager, stories scheduling or First Comment scheduling. 

Pros and Cons


  • Easy-to-use post planner.
  • You can schedule posts, stories and a first comment.
  • Custom reports are available.
  • Pricing is quite accessible for one social channel.


  • Hashtag Manager is basic, focused on easily adding hashtags to posts.
  • Analytics are minimal.

Instagram Marketing Alternative: Flick

Flick powers up your Instagram marketing with an all-in-one platform that helps creators, entrepreneurs and social media managers get things done and improve their results on Instagram. Founded in 2018, it now has 25,000+ clients globally. It offers some of the robust features the market, including:

  • Hashtags (search, automated suggestions, banned/flagged tags, etc.) 
  • Hashtag Manager (plan and analyze to get better reach)
  • Analytics (insights into your account, content, audience, etc.)
  • Scheduling (visual planning, auto First Comment, hashtag features inside scheduling tool, etc.)

Together these comprehensive features give you insight into what’s working (and not) on your Instagram, as well as how to save time in the areas that matter most. 

Flick Key Features

Feature 1: Plan your content like a pro. 

With Flick, you can streamline the logistics of planning and creating your posts. Here you can plan your posts on a calendar, edit images/videos as you go and even set up a First Comment. In addition, you can get key advanced features such as Best Times to Post, location tagging and more.

Feature 2: Enjoy advanced hashtag analytics, including Competition Score and Potential Reach Score.

First of all, Flick has robust hashtag analytics, including banned/flagged hashtag checker, 40 suggestions for every search, filters using key hashtag metrics and more. These tools also work in 20+ languages, which is a huge plus. 

Flick’s Competition Score and Potential Reach Score are especially useful, as they measure how competitive certain hashtags are, as well as your potential for ranking with users. This can help you plan and optimize your hashtag strategy.

Feature 3: Auto-scheduling tool for posts.

Finally, Flick isn’t just about hashtags. Through their Instagram Scheduler tool, you can schedule Instagram posts (including video and carousel posts!) in order to streamline your behind-the-scenes content planning.

Feature 4: Comparison tools to see where your account ranks against others

Use Flick’s Open and Internal Benchmarks to compare your account against other similar accounts. Instead of checking your analytics and comparing the metrics from a previous period, Flick’s similar accounts feature overlays your analytics over the Benchmarks live tool. You’ll be able to quickly and easily compare your live data to other accounts that are like yours and see where your metrics are rocking it and where you could be focusing more of your attention. 

By being able to compare how other accounts are doing against yours, this tool will help you determine if the increase or decrease in your Instagram performance is due to an Instagram issue, or if you should rethink your content strategy.

Later vs. Buffer vs. Flick: Feature Comparison

Feature / Functionality




Visual Post Planning

Analytics for Posts & Videos

Advanced Hashtag Search 

Advanced Hashtag Analytics

Automated Hashtag Suggestions

Custom Reports

Scheduling Posts

(Plus Stories)

(Plus Stories)

Schedule First Comment

Free Trial

Benchmark live IG Analytics

Paid Pricing

Starts at $15/mo

Starts at $5/mo per
social channel

Starts at £7/mo

Which Is Your Pick?

Ultimately, Later, Buffer and Flick are three top tools for improving your Instagram strategy and engagement. 

Later is ideal for businesses who want to focus on creating beautiful, on-brand content. It also offers scheduling and some basic analytics. 

Flick is a powerful tool for creators, brands and social media managers who want to reach untapped audiences through hashtags, and streamlining their content creation/posting process. While its in-depth hashtag metrics, analytics, and benchmarks tool go the extra mile, Flick also makes your job easy through a suite of editing and auto-scheduling features that range from a First Comment, Best Times to Post, location tagging and more. Start boosting your Instagram game with Flick today.

Buffer is best for brands who want a little of everything: planning and scheduling posts, basic hashtag metrics and some analytics such as custom reports. 

Flick makes finding, using and tracking the performance of hashtags easy.
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