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Buffer vs. Later: Which Social Media Management Tool Is Right for You?

May 30, 2023 4 min readSocial Media Marketing
Photo of Phill Agnew
Phill Agnew

Senior Product Marketer @ Buffer

Social media management tools are a game-changer for those looking to post consistently, but not all tools are created equal. In this blog, we'll compare Buffer with Later to help you decide which one best suits your needs.

To kick off, here are seven key differences between the two products that all potential users should be aware of 👇

Seven key differences

1) Free Plan Offerings

When you're starting to grow your social media presence, a free plan is a cost-effective way to get started. Buffer's free plan lets users to connect three social channels and schedule up to 30 posts per month, while Later's free plan is significantly more limited, with only one connected social channel and just 5 scheduled posts per month.

2) Flexibility on Channels

Later requires paid users to purchase "social sets" that include one of each social channel (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok, and LinkedIn), which may not suit every user's needs. Some users have multiple Twitter accounts, others only want to connect their LinkedIn account. For them, Laters model isn't preferable and ends up costing more.

Buffer, on the other hand, provides complete flexibility when choosing channels. Users can select the exact channels they need and only pay for the channels they need—making the price more reasonable too.

3) Number of Users

Buffer's Team plan offers unlimited users, whereas Later's equivalent Advanced plan only provides access for six users, with additional users available at $5 per user per month. This difference in user access can be crucial for growing businesses. Getting unlimited users included is a major reason why small and medium businesses pick Buffer.

4) Available Channels

Later only has six available social channels, whereas Buffer has three more; YouTube, Mastodon, and Google Business Profiles.

Channels available on Buffer
Channels available on Later
Instagram
Instagram
Twitter
Twitter
Pinterest
Pinterest
Facebook
Facebook
LinkedIn
LinkedIn
TikTok
TikTok
Google Business Profiles

Mastodon 

YouTube 

Plus, Buffer connects with Shopify to analyze your website and storefront. These additional channels help users reach their audience across the web.


5) Limits on Analytics and Posts

On Later’s cheapest plan (Starter plan), only limited analytics are available (3 months of historical data), and users are limited to scheduling 30 posts per profile. In comparison, Buffer’s equivalent plan offers unlimited posts and full analytics.

6) Artificial Intelligence

Later only offers AI support for Instagram captions, while Buffer offers AI support for every channel. Buffer's AI Assistant provides personalized ideas for social media content across all channels, streamlining the content creation process for users. It generates suggestions for content based on brand, industry, and audience and can also suggest hashtags and captions for posts.

7) Link-in-bio tools

Buffer and Later both offer link-in-bio tools, but they differ in several aspects. Buffer's Start Page is available on free plans, while Later's Linkin.bio is only available on paid plans. Buffer lets users schedule unique posts specifically for the link in bio, while Later only shows live Instagram and TikTok posts. Start Page works seamlessly with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube, whereas Later's Linkin.bio is only designed for TikTok and LinkedIn. Additionally, Buffer offers more integrations and blocks within the link-in-bio tool, such as a Spotify integration to showcase playlists or podcasts and a YouTube block to display videos.

What makes Buffer stand out


In addition to these key differences, Buffer has many more features that make it stand out.

  • World-class support: Buffer has an NPS consistently above 50, a customer satisfaction score of 94 percent, and a four-hour first reply time to support tickets.
  • Intuitive yet powerful: Over 350 5-star reviewers state how intuitive and easy-to-use Buffer is. Setting up Buffer takes just three clicks.
  • Fast-moving and reliable: Buffer was the first to add Mastodon, full Instagram Stories scheduling and integrate AI. Buffer is also an official partner of Meta, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
  • Affordable for all: Buffer offers the most powerful free plan available. Paid plans start at $5 per month (much cheaper than Later). Buffer’s mission is to help more small businesses exist, and has committed to we always having a free plan and affordable paid plans to help new businesses flourish.


Moreover, Buffer is values-led, an independent company, with transparent roadmaps, salaries, and key business metrics.

Buffer’s incentives are aligned with our customers, and we prioritize long-term profitability over short-term growth, independent of investor control. As a result, we can be trusted to make early bets in new tech to navigate the evolving social media landscape without making drastic short-term decisions.

In summary

Let’s face it as a Buffer employee, I’m a little biased. But hopefully, this blog has showcased how Buffer differs from Later.

With our free plan offering users more flexibility and accessibility, and our paid plans providing powerful features and analytics, we are committed to helping small businesses thrive on social media.

Additionally, our values-led approach and commitment to long-term profitability over short-term growth set us apart from other tools in the market.

We are proud to offer world-class support, intuitive yet powerful features, and a reliable platform that stays on the cutting edge of new technology.

Overall, we believe Buffer is the best choice for businesses looking to simplify their social media management and achieve their goals on social media.

So, what are you waiting for? Give Buffer a try today!

P.S. Got any feedback? Send us a tweet and let us know.

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