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What Is the Best Time to Post on Instagram? A Comprehensive Guide

Published August 11, 2023

With every recent update, the Instagram algorithm has become more and more unpredictable. Nowadays, feeds aren’t always in chronological order, and posts can easily get buried under heaps of sponsored ads and recommended content.

In such circumstances, figuring out when to post to get the most engagement isn’t the simplest task. However, it can be a lot easier if you know the right tips. Below, we’ll share everything you can use to post at the best possible time and stay on top of the app. Read on!

Explaining the Instagram Algorithm

First things first, let’s delve a bit deeper into the Instagram algorithm. Nowadays, it prioritizes recency above everything else. In other words, the feed posts that will appear at the very top of someone’s feed are those that have been posted most recently.

As for Stories, matters are slightly different. People will usually first see stories from the users they interact with or search for the most. These can include both personal accounts and brands.

Lastly, Reels differ from both of these post types, as their algorithm is not based on timing as much. Namely, your Reels feed will depend on the type of Reels you usually like, rewatch, comment on, or share with your friends. So, taking this data into account, the recommendation system will curate a series of videos that are more in line with your usual activity, meaning that recency won’t play a significant role in the selection.

Is There Really a Universal Best Time for Posting?

Although this question is quite simple, the answer is anything but. Namely, there is not a single best time for posting on Instagram. Instead, it all depends on your audience and when they are online the most. By determining their peak activity times, you’ll have better chances of actually reaching them with your content.

For example, Gen X and Baby Boomers usually spend time on Instagram in the early morning at about 7 am and at 3 pm in the afternoons. These habits make sense, as they imply that the users visit Instagram right before or right after work.

On the other hand, Gen Z and Millennials are on Instagram a bit more frequently, so you can capitalize on their activity more often. To reach them, it is a good idea to post in the middle of the workday, around 1 pm, as well as during the evenings, about 7 pm.

Best Times to Post on Individual Days

Although it’s important to know when people frequent Instagram in general, you should also note that user activity varies from day to day. For example, Sundays are vastly different from, say, Tuesdays or Wednesdays in terms of activity and engagement. Thus, every day requires different posting strategies and schedules.

If this seems overly complicated, worry not. We’ll list the best times to post for every individual day below.

  • Mondays: 6 am and 1 pm
  • Tuesdays: 9 am and 2 pm
  • Wednesday: from 9 to 11 am
  • Thursday: 11 am, 2 pm, and 7 pm
  • Friday: 10 am, 1 pm, and 4 pm
  • Saturday: from 9 to 11 am
  • Sundays: from 5 to 8 pm

Don’t Just Create Content — Make It Compelling

Now that you know some basic rules about timely posts, it’s time to tackle another important factor of great engagement — compelling and visually attractive content.

For one, if you put content quality first, you’ll be more likely to have more engagement. Conversely, if your posts are boring or uncreative, they won’t inspire your audience to like or comment, no matter how great a time you pick.

So, make sure you invest a lot of time and energy into creating images and videos that will truly resonate with your audience. Take the time to edit posts, come up with interesting and engaging captions, use hashtags, and add locations to every image and video. That way, you’ll make sure that your audience truly finds your content irresistible, no matter when it is posted.

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Written By:
Jessica is a writer who specializes in social media, marketing, and digital strategy. She is a graduate of Antioch College and earned her MBA at Boston College’s Carroll Graduate School of Management, specializing in STEM Management. Her work has been published in numerous academic journals and mainstream publications. She lives in New England with her husband, two children, and three dogs.
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