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Buffer in October: Instagram upgrades, Unsick Days and planning our 8th retreat

Nov 21, 2016 5 min readReports
Photo of Joel Gascoigne
Joel Gascoigne

CEO and co-founder @ Buffer

Editor’s Note: Every month we share an update with all of Buffer’s investors. We also publish that note in full for our Buffer Open audience in keeping with our value of transparency.

Buffer Investor Report

October 2016






4.4% from September

Paying customers

63,273 +2.9%


276,314 +2.8%


172,468 +2.6%

In October, we launched Instagram reposting, performed our first customer support audit, introduced Unsick Day, and narrowed down our city options for our next retreat in early 2017. Read on for all the highlights:

Instagram reposting is live for all!

In October, we launched Instagram Reposting through Buffer!

You can now copy a URL for Instagram (or any link at all!) and when you visit the Buffer app, you’ll see a quick banner that asks if you want to repost the Instagram or share the link. You can then tap on it and add it to your queue or repost it right away.


Next up for Instagram: a grid preview feature! We know many Instagram marketers pay attention to the aesthetics of their Instagram grid. However, it’s tough to predict in advance what your grid will look like with multiple upcoming posts. We hope to make this easier by letting you preview your future Instagram grid from within Buffer.

We started customer development for the grid preview in October. More to come next month!

Buffered images now look great on any network

Another exciting October development: We’ve fully rolled out a new image resizing service to all users.

The new service automatically resizes images to the correct size for each individual social network, so you can post one image to multiple social media platforms and feel confident it’ll look great everywhere.

Championing accessibility at Buffer

At Buffer, we come to work every day excited to give everyone a greater voice on social media.

Accessibility has to be part of that mission, and Emily has been championing accessible engineering over the past few months.

In October she’s been putting the final touches on a Alt Text tool for Twitter that will help Buffer to reach and empower more users. We’ll be sharing it soon!

Emily also gave a workshop on tools that can help monitor and address accessibility issues at JSConf Colombia – you can check out her slides here!

We have a long way to go to make Buffer 100% accessible to all of our users, but here’s our accessibility road map. We’d love for you to hold us accountable to these items and more.


We’ve narrowed it down to 3 cities for our next retreat

As we continue organizing our next retreat, we’re excited to bring the team together in one of the three following locations: Lisbon, Madrid or San Diego!


The People team takes a “best of 3 approach” to have more confidence in the level of service we can offer the team in each location, and at what cost – we’re striving to be very lean in our next retreat, so cost will be a major factor here.

We’re having several conversations with vendors, hotels and coworking spaces – more to come!

Introducing the ‘Unsick Day’

We’re delighted to be a founding partner of a movement that feels super in line with our values and the future of work: Unsick Day.

This initiative encourages folks to take control of their health by taking an “Unsick Day” at least once a year – a dedicated day off just for preventive care.


To participate, teammates simply plan their own Unsick Day to proactively care for their health through appointments like:
 Annual physical
 Dental cleaning
 Vision exam
 Counseling or therapy
 Any other preventive care that feels like a good fit!

The People team launched Unsick Day this month and will monitor how effective it is at helping us take time off for wellness with a goal of increasing it.

We’ll keep you posted. Meanwhile, any organization can join the Unsick Day movement right now!

The results of our first Happiness quality audit

Our Happiness team constantly strives to improve our support quality. But what does that really look like?

In October, we decided to find out with our first-ever service and hospitality audit.

Buffer’s Chief Happiness Officer, Carolyn, took a peek at a variety of the team’s conversations with customers over email and through social media channels to find a way to measure things like:

  • How confident we are that the customer reaches satisfied resolution
  • How effectively we address each question or underlying anxiety expressed by the customer
  • Even small details like whether we spell all names correctly

The first audit led to some great lessons in areas like use of snippets (small, pre-written pieces of text we can use for common questions) and automated follow ups, as well as bigger conversations about communicating empathy and care through the written word in emails and tweets.

Audits will likely become part of our process moving forward. We’re excited to share more of the results and process as it evolves!

A new Respond, with transparent product roadmap

In October we debuted a new version of Respond to our beta group, with improvements like unified social inbox, distraction-free conversations, bulk conversation editing and whole lot more!

In addition, we kicked off our first ever transparent product roadmap with a public Trello board.

Customers can now see exactly what the Respond team is working on, what’s next and what future ideas we’re currently discussing:


Thanks so much for your support!

– Joel Gascoigne

Check out other reports from October:

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