Buffer vs. Later: Which is the Tool for Your Brand’s Success?

Buffer vs. Later: Which is the Tool for Your Brand’s Success?

Buffer vs Later

Overview

The tool empowers users to manage numerous social media accounts on different social platforms simultaneously from the same space. This involves creating content, customizing it for different platforms, and scheduling it to be published at the designated time. By automating social media content management for the near future, marketers can eliminate mundane tasks and focus on more important things.

Buffer has integrated all the major social media platforms, including Facebook, Google Business Profile, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, TikTok, Pinterest, and Shopify. It is the first tool to have included Mastodon, one of the new social platforms, into its repertoire of supported channels.

Buffer is known to be a cost-effective tool with a very user-friendly interface. Hence a new user takes very little time to get used to the workflow and functions in Buffer.

Users can connect their business profiles and pages from Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and TikTok and start automating their post-publishing activities.

Content creation in a span of minutes and scheduling them for publishing on multiple social media platforms saves a lot of the users’ time. They can as easily reschedule their planned posts by using the calendar dashboard. Just dragging and dropping the content from the previous slot to the date and time of your choice will do the trick.

Its strong analytical capabilities give many valuable insights related to the content and the performance of the pages overall to guide the social marketing strategy in the right direction.

Best Suitable for

Buffer

Buffer

Start with $60

Freelancer, Small Business, Agency

Later

Later

Start with $25

Influencers, Small Business

SocialPilot

SocialPilot

Start with $30

SMBs, Agencies, Multi-Location Brands

At a Glance

In this section, we have tried to sum up, in short, the quality of experience users felt they had while using the tools. The conclusions drawn here are based on the scores the same users gave Buffer and Later.

Based on overall ratings, Buffer is ahead of Later by a fair margin. But when the setup process and the ease of usage are considered, Buffer and Later match each other closely. Both the social media tools are hailed for their user-friendliness, so it is no surprise that they got rated pretty well in this regard.

But when it came to the quality of support they provided to their customers, Buffer gets trumped over by Later, albeit by a small margin.

Here are all the actual scores we got while comparing Buffer vs. Later. We also included SocialPilot in the mix for a frame of reference.

Buffer

Buffer

Later

Later

SocialPilot

SocialPilot

Number of Reviews 962 283 741
Overall Star Rating
Ease of Use
Quality of Support
Ease of Setup
Learn More Learn More 14 Days Trial

Quick Comparison – Buffer vs. Later

Here, we will weigh Later vs. Buffer based on the fundamental features of a social media management tool that lays the groundwork for any comparison or selection by users.

Although both tools are affordable, Later comes at a much lower price than Buffer. That difference might result from Buffer supporting more channels than Later. Google Business Profiles, Shopify, and Mastodon are integrated into Buffer but not in Later. But unlike Buffer’s alternatives, just like Later, the tool itself limits the number of posts a user can schedule per month.

As for the other important capabilities, both tools are well-equipped for scheduling, publishing, social media analytics, and collaboration. Where global accessibility is concerned, Buffer is available in only English and Spanish, but Later is available in five languages.

But one of the most important features of a social media marketing tool is missing from both Buffer and Later, and that is white label solutions. This feature is essential for agencies and brands to have a customized marketing experience that fits their needs perfectly.

Note: SocialPilot has white-label features available for its clients, despite being in the same price range as Buffer. This makes it a solid Buffer alternative.

Here’s an overview of all the essential features compared side by side for Buffer vs. Later, and alongside is SocialPilot for a better frame of reference.

Buffer

Buffer

Later

Later

SocialPilot

SocialPilot

Can't Miss to Compare
Minimum Pricing $60/Month $25/Month $30/Month
Number of Accounts 10 7 10
Number of Team Members 1 1 2
Number of Posts that Can Be Scheduled 2000 Unlimited Unlimited
Core Capabilities
Scheduling & Publishing check check check
Analytics check check check
Inbox check check check
Collaboration check check check
Competitor Tracking check check check
Whitelabel check check check
Localization English & Spanish English, Spanish, French, German, Japanese German, English, French, Portuguese, Spanish
Support FAQs, How-To-Guides, Video Tutorials, Social Media Support & Email Support Email & Live Chat Email, Chat, Social Media, Phone
Learn More Learn More 14 Days Trial

Reviews

Positive

  • Buffer provides an optimal solution for managing and scheduling content across multiple social media platforms. With its centralized platform, users are able to efficiently publish their content on all of their social media accounts simultaneously.
  • The cost-effective pricing of Buffer makes it accessible to a diverse group of users, regardless of their budget.
  • Buffer offers a convenient feature by which it automatically pulls in images from any pages that are being linked to, eliminating the need for manual uploading and saving time for the user.

Negative

  • Buffer requires an admin within the organization to reconnect unlinked accounts, which can be challenging and time-consuming when the user and admin are not in close proximity to each other.
  • A feature lacking in Buffer is a quick chat support option, which would be helpful for users seeking immediate assistance with an issue and were unable to find the answer in the help center.
  • The lack of assistance in handling social media conversations in Buffer could hinder its effectiveness as a complete social media management solution.

Positive

  • The integration of a suggested hashtag feature in Later saves a significant amount of time during the publishing process on Instagram, providing a convenient and efficient solution for hashtags.
  • Later boasts a user-friendly interface with a clean and intuitive design, making it easyfor users to navigate around the tool and use it.
  • The monthly layout feature in Later offers a well-defined preview of upcoming posts for the month, providing a helpful tool for organized content planning.

Negative

  • Later has the disadvantage of being prone to glitches, causing a temporary shutdown of some features. This frequent occurrence can lead to inconvenience and decreased functionality.
  • One disadvantage of the story scheduling section in Later is that it can be confusing and difficult to understand. Despite potentially being a matter of personal learning, it has not been a straightforward experience for the user.
  • The hashtag function in Later has the tendency to suggest hashtags within the topic. However, some of these recommendations can become irrelevant, so the user must be cautious when using the suggested hashtags to avoid any unwanted content.

Positive

  • You get a social media calendar screen in SocialPilot, which gives a bird-eye view of all the scheduled content as well as create and schedule new content from. You can also change the publishing time and date of any queued posts right from the calendar and reschedule it.
  • You can prevent delays and ensure that everything gets published according to schedule. As a result, with SocialPilot, your consistency on social networks remains uninterrupted.
  • SocialPilot offers multiple features at a very affordable price. Different pricing plans make it an excellent choice even for small businesses. And it can upgrade the plans anytime as per requirement.

Negative

  • Although the Bitly integration is convenient, you'd like to see all these features built natively within SocialPilot or have automated workflows that create UTM links for all campaigns and other variables.
  • Users can post directly using their Instagram business account, but they will get mobile reminders in case of a personal account. This is a common issue on all social media management platforms since there is no available API for Instagram personal accounts.
  • One disadvantage of SocialPilot not offering a social listening feature is that it may not be the best choice for businesses or individuals who require comprehensive social media monitoring and analysis.

Pricing – Buffer vs. Later

Now, we come to a crucial thing about any tool that becomes the deciding factor for prospective users, i.e., its pricing. So we will lay out each pricing plan for both the tools in question, Buffer vs. Later, and see which one offers a better deal.

As mentioned earlier, Buffer offers a free plan which is great for starters to use as it lets them manage three social media accounts. But if we’re talking about the utility of a free plan for a whole social media team, it doesn’t offer much. The paid plans for Buffer start from $6, offering a single user to connect one account. Later, on the other hand, it gives its lowest costing plan at $18 for a single user to connect six social accounts, one from each network it supports.

The most suitable plans for agencies for these tools are pretty affordable too. Buffer’s Agency plan costs $120 for unlimited users to connect ten social channels and schedule up to 2000 posts. Later, at only $80 gives six users access to manage up to 36 accounts and no cap on the number of posts. Both tools have fixed rates to add extra social accounts and users.

It looks like both the tools have a similar pricing model, but Later comes way cheaper. But where Later alternatives like Buffer and SocialPilot take the cake is the higher number of social media platforms which comes off as a noticeable lack for Later.

Here are all the pricing plans of both tools given for an adequate comparison. Also provided are SocialPilot’s pricing plans for better comparison.

Buffer

Buffer

Later

Later

SocialPilot

SocialPilot

Free
Starter
$25/per month
Professional
$30/per month
Essential
$6/per channel
Growth
$45/per month
Small Team
$50/per month
Team
$12/per channel
Advanced
$80/per month
Agency
$100/per month
Agency
$120/per channel
Agency
$200/per month
Agency+
$200/per month
14 Days Free Trial
No Credit Card Required
14 Days Free Trial
Credit Card Required
14 Days Free Trial
No Credit Card Required
Learn More Learn More Start Your free Trial

In-depth Scheduling and Publishing Capabilities Comparison

Social media content scheduling and publishing are the core reason for the existence of this whole genre of social media management tools like Buffer and Later. So let us see which of them has more extensive features related to scheduling and publishing.

Buffer and Later have efficient content scheduling capabilities with platform-specific customizations, visual content support, cloud content storage, link shortening, draft scheduling, content calendar, browser extensions, and much more. However, there are some discrepancies in their abilities, and here, we’ll highlight some important ones.

The content library, which is a useful asset for content management, is missing from Later. The other contender, Buffer, lacks important Facebook content scheduling abilities such as carousel posting, audience targeting, and boost posting of Facebook ads.

Note: Even as we compare Buffer vs. Later, both tools are incapable of RSS feed automation. SocialPilot is a similar but much more efficient scheduling tool that provides this feature to its users. This helps maintain consistency on social media platforms, eliminating the need for constantly creating fresh content. At the same time, they can also share valuable content with their audience, which increases their authenticity in the eyes of their audience.

Here is the detailed comparison of scheduling and publishing capabilities, Later vs. Buffer, along with SocialPilot.

Buffer

Buffer

Later

Later

SocialPilot

SocialPilot

Smart & Advanced Queueing check check check
Customize Post for Each Platform check check check
Post Preview check check check
Canva Integration check check check
Unsplash Integration check check check
Slack Integration check check check
URL Shortener check check check
Visual Post Support (Image, Video, GIF) check check check
UTM Parameters check check check
Cloud Storage check check check
Hashtag Suggestions check check check
Advance Publishing Capabilities
Save Draft Posts check check check
AI Assistant check check check
Watermark on Images check check check
Bulk Scheduling check check check
Content Curation check check check
Auto publishing from RSS check check check
Social media calendar check check check
Mobile App check check check
Browser Extension check check check
Advance Facebook Publishing Capabilities
Reel Scheduling check check check
Support Album Posts check check check
Support Carousel Posts check check check
Alternate Text on Image check check check
Support Facebook First Comment check check check
Audience Targeting check check check
Boost Post Scheduling check check check
Support Mention and Hashtags check check check
Advance Twitter Publishing Capabilities
Location Tagging check check check
Support Mention and Hashtags check check check
Support Multiple Image Posts check check check
Threads Scheduling check check check
Advance Instagram Publishing Capabilities
Reel Scheduling check check check
Story Scheduling check check check
Tag Profiles on Images check check check
Location Tagging check check check
Support Instagram First Comment check check check
Instagram Grid check check check
Advance LinkedIn Publishing Capabilities
Audience Targeting check check check
Support LinkedIn First Comment check check check
Advance YouTube Publishing Capabilities
#shorts Scheduling check check check
Mention of Other Youtube Accounts check check check
Learn More Learn More 14 Days Trial

In-depth Analytics Capability Comparison

The analytics section in a social media marketing tool works as a compass for its users, guiding the strategy-making in the right direction. So let us see which of the tools in question have better analytical capabilities.

Buffer and Later have above-average data-driven insights, although this is not their USP. Users get comprehensive information on how their business profiles are performing on the relevant social media platforms, all in the same streamlined dashboard.

But Buffer does not have the ability to email customized reports generated to relevant stakeholders, nor can it schedule the PDFs of these said reports to be sent at a dictated time. Later, in turn, doesn’t even generate downloadable white-label PDF reports, which is a considerable gap as far as agencies with multiple clients are concerned.

Here’s the comparison, Buffer vs. Later, regarding their analytics and reporting features, and thrown in the mix is SocialPilot for better reference.

Buffer

Buffer

Later

Later

SocialPilot

SocialPilot

Whitelabel Downloadable Report in PDF Format check check check
Email PDF Report to Client check check check
Auto Schedule Report with Team and Client check check check
Custom Report Builder check check check
Learn More Learn More 14 Days Trial

In-depth Inbox/Listening Capability Comparison

Now we come to the listening capabilities of the tools in question. Listening to and monitoring social media conversations, comments, and reviews from the audience helps a business manage and respond to them, creating the image of a brand that is self-aware and cares about its customers.

However, Buffer and Later have little to offer with respect to listening. In Buffer’s case, users can only reply to messages on Facebook and Instagram comments business accounts. For Later, that ability is persistent for Instagram and TikTok. Other than this, there is not much else the tools have.

Note: SocialPilot, despite being in the same league with Buffer and Later price-wise, offers a lot more in terms of social listening. It has a functional inbox for Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Google Business profiles. Users can monitor multiple accounts from this inbox for comments, DMs, reviews, and queries, responding to them proactively. And all of this from the same dashboard.

Here is a glance at all the listening capabilities, Later vs. Buffer, along with SocialPilot, for an effective comparison.

Buffer

Buffer

Later

Later

SocialPilot

SocialPilot

Can Reply Message check check check
Can Reply Questions and Reviews check check check
Can Reply on Visitor Posts check check check
Real-Time Social Listening check check check
Learn More Learn More 14 Days Trial

In-depth Social Media Collaboration Capability Comparison

At last, we come to the collaboration capabilities of Buffer vs. Later. So let us see which one of them is better equipped to handle a whole social media team and their clients.

Both tools allow multi-user access to their agency-level plans. For Buffer, an unlimited number of users are allowed in one profile, while Later charges users for every person they add after the limit of six is crossed.

The account admin can assign these users, particular roles and give selective access. They can collaborate on each post and use approval workflow to perfect each piece of content they create before scheduling.

Here is an overview of all the team and client collaborative abilities, comparing Buffer vs. Later along with SocialPilot.

Buffer

Buffer

Later

Later

SocialPilot

SocialPilot

Free Unlimited Client Onboarding check check check
Per Post Multi-User Collaboration check check check
Access Management check check check
Content Approval Workflow check check check
Learn More Learn More 14 Days Trial

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better, Later or Buffer?

Both Buffer and Later are equally capable social media management tools with a similar target audience. They have very user-friendly dashboards, which makes working with them very easy. They have some differences, one of the main points being Buffer allows an unlimited number of users on a team profile as opposed to Later, which offers only 6. It also supports more social media networks than Later, albeit at a higher price.

What is the difference between Later and Buffer?

Buffer and Later have some major differences, one of them being their prices. Buffer's agency plan is $120 monthly for unlimited team members. For Later, users have to pay only $80 but have to stick to a limit of six users or pay extra to add more users. Also, Laterer supports only Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and TikTok, while Buffer supports all of these, along with Google Business Profile, Shopify, and Mastodon.

Is Buffer a good platform?

Buffer is an effective social media management platform that allows users to manage multiple social media accounts from its streamlined dashboard. It also has comprehensive analytical features along with team and client collaboration capabilities. It is an excellent tool for small and large businesses and solo entrepreneurs to centralize and manage their social media marketing activities.

Is the Later app free?

Later does not have a free plan. However, its paid plan starts at a reasonable rate of $18 per month.

Is Buffer free to use?

Although Buffer has a free plan, the features and uses included in that plan are minimal. It only allows users to manage three social accounts under the free plan.

About the Author

Picture of Jimit Bagadiya

Jimit Bagadiya

  • linkedin
  • Twitter
  • Facebook

Manage social media effortlessly.

  • Trial Begins Immediately
  • No CC Required
  • Change Plans Anytime
  • Cancel Anytime

Start Your 14-Day Free Trial