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It’s the age of Instagram, and one thing is certain: Likes are social media currency, which makes it essential that you know the best time to post on Instagram.
Before Instagram shifted its algorithm in to prioritize posts based on your likes and relationships, posting at an ideal time was crucial to get the most likes and views from your followers. Instagram’s feed continues to shift and change, often much to users’ chagrin, but you can still game your post time to ensure maximum likes. Whether you’re aiming for fame, Instagram flirting, or just want to make sure your crush peeps your post at the top of their feed, here are a few pointers to figure out your best time to post on Instagram.
When is the best time to post on Instagram?
The newest Instagram algorithm makes it difficult to figure out when exactly your followers will see your posts, considering the app prioritizes what it thinks you’d want to see first rather than displaying posts chronologically. So while timeliness may not be the most important factor in Insta success, it’s still important.
In 2015, a study by the Huffington Post declared Wednesday at 5pm to be the best time to post on Instagram, and for a while, Instagram users followed that golden rule like clockwork, posting right as the clock struck happy hour.
But in more recent studies, that gold standard has shifted. In 2018, a study by CoSchedule concluded that Mondays and Thursday were definitively the best days to post at any time other than between 3pm and 4pm. Overall, the best times to post on Instagram are between 8pm and 9pm, at 2am, and at 5pm—but it also depends on who your followers are and when they are most active.
1) Know your following
Because Instagram’s algorithm relies on audience engagement and your own Instagram habits, it’s important to think about two key factors: where your audience is located and what times they’ll most likely to be active online.
Think about when you find time to scroll through your timeline throughout a typical day. If the majority of your audience works the conventional 9-to-5, it makes more sense to post between 7pm to 9pm on a weeknight rather than at 10am, when your followers are busy at work. However, if you’re a student whose target audience is up late at night, it might be beneficial to post just before going to sleep.
If you have followers spread out across the globe, find the time frame that will engage the majority. For instance, if half of your followers are in the North American time zones like Central (CST) and Eastern (EST), and the rest are in the Central European Time Zone (UTC + 01:00), you may want to experiment with posting late at night and early in the morning.
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2) Check out your Insights
Finding out when your followers are active on Instagram is much easier if you have a business profile. Instagram offers analytics tools to business profiles so that marketers, influencers, and companies can target their audience more directly for maximum growth.
Switching a regular account to a business account is as simple as clicking on the settings wheel on your profile, selecting Switch to Business Profile, then logging in through Facebook.
If you have a business account, in the top right-hand corner of your profile you can find the personal Insights chart icon. This will break down the demographics of your followers by place, gender, age, and most active hours.
The Followers section of your Insights provides information based on where your followers are and when they are most likely to open Instagram. Those with business profiles can easily view which countries and cities their followers live in, as well the specific times when they scroll through their feed.
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The best times to post on Instagram
Below is a breakdown of when you should be posting during the day. These times are based on different studies and observations from Insights, but be sure to keep your own routine in mind. For example, if you’re commuting home from work at the same time as most of your followers, then that may not be the right time to post an update.
Best days to post on Instagram
- Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays are the best days to post on Instagram.
Best times to post on Instagram
- Mornings between 7am and 9am when people aren’t posting as frequently, but are more than likely to check social media when they wake up.
- Afternoons between 11am and 1pm when people are on their lunch breaks.
- Evenings between 5pm and 7am when people are ending their work days, or they’re already home relaxing.
If you’re following these tips, don’t worry about how many likes you get at first. Just remember: It’s all about finding the balance between totally average and Instagram model levels of engagement. As Lil’ Yachty once said, “I spy with my little eye/a girlie I can get ’cause she don’t get too many likes.”
Need more help? Here’s how to repost on Instagram and download full-resolution Instagram photos. If you’re looking to spice things up, here are some tips for Instagram flirting and how to find porn on Instagram (and instructions on how to clear your search history).
If you’re feeling petty, here’s how to tell if someone blocked you on Instagram and see all of the people who unfollowed you. You can also disconnect Facebook from Instagram or unblock someone. For more tips, see our ultimate beginner’s guide to Instagram.
Kristen Hubby is a tech and lifestyle reporter. Her writing focuses on sex, pop culture, streaming entertainment, and social media, with an emphasis on major platforms like Snapchat, YouTube, and Spotify. Her work has also appeared in Austin Monthly and the Austin American-Statesman, where she covered local news and the dining scene in Austin, Texas.