Birmingham tech company Turn Partners has launched a new device to enable Instagram users to schedule posts - claimed to be a world first.

Social media agencies, brands and individuals have scheduled posts to more than 18 million unique followers each day in the two weeks since 'Hopper' went live.

The company, based at Innovation Birmingham Campus, says Hopper is the first tool that enables users to schedule an Instagram post for a specific date and time, in the way applications such as Hootsuite and Buffer work for Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

The platform has the same extensive range of picture editing tools available within the Instagram app, as well as enabling pictures to be uploaded from multiple sources, such as Dropbox, Google Drive and a user's own files.

Turn Partners has spent more than six months developing the scheduling technology that enables pictures to be posted at any chosen time and date from a desktop device.

Hopper also saves each post in an archive list, with details of how many likes it has generated.

Co-founder Mike Bandar said: "Instagram now has more users than Twitter. It has become an invaluable platform for brands to communicate with a mass audience and engender brand loyalty and sales.

"Until the launch of Hopper, all Instagram posts had to be made from a smart phone or tablet in real time.

"If a brand wanted to post a picture out to its followers on a Sunday evening, there was no option to schedule it in advance.

"With the UK representing only a fraction of Instagram's user base, we have launched Hopper globally, with the pricing currently set in US dollars.

"Through an SEO strategy and targeted marketing, we have already secured over 100 customers to sign-up to either rolling monthly or annual Hopper accounts.

"While we have won business from a number of UK social media agencies and brands, the majority of our customer base is located in the USA."

Paul O'Brien, director of Birmingham-based web application designer Fresh Face Media, said: "Hopper enables us to manage 11 separate client Instagram accounts with ease and efficiency.

"We previously avoided offering Instagram management, as the overhead was too high but now it is one of our fastest growth areas."

Turn Partners is one of the tech start-ups currently enrolled on Innovation Birmingham's Entrepreneurs for the Future programme which assigns an entrepreneur in residence to work with each company for a six to nine month duration.