When is the best time to post on Instagram? It’s a question that’s created much debate on social media.
So, as a leading social media scheduling and management platform for creators and small businesses, we analyzed over 11M Instagram posts to find out when you should be posting for maximum engagement.
Spoiler alert: the results may surprise you.
Read on to learn:
The Best Time to Post on Instagram in 2023
The Best Time to Post Reels on Instagram
The Best Day to Post on Instagram
The Best Times to Post on Instagram By Day
The Best Times to Post on Instagram By Location
How to Find Your Unique Best Time to Post
When is the Best Time to Post on Instagram in 2023?
In 2023, the overall best time to post on Instagram is 4 AM (calculated in local time across time zones).
To find this data, Later analyzed over 11M global image, video, carousel, and Instagram Reels posts.
“We calculated engagement metrics from Later accounts of various industries and sizes, and deduced the best time to post by grouping data by the hour and day posted.
Then, the average engagement rate was calculated for posts on that specific day and hour,” explains Wissam Ghoudi, Later’s Data Analyst.
From Monday to Sunday, we found that users across the board interact with content posted in the early hours of the day — more than any other time slot.
In other words: the early bird gets the worm.
By posting earlier in the day, accounts benefit from less competition, while also tapping into traffic from users during their first scroll of the day — even if that’s a few hours after the post was shared.
Hello, major engagement hack alert 🔥
When is the Best Time to Post on Instagram for Likes and Comments?
Based on our analysis, the best time to post on Instagram for likes and comments tends to be in the morning.
If you want to cash-in on those early time slots without sacrificing your REM cycle, scheduling your IG content is the way to go. Create a free Later account to get started.
The Best Time to Post Reels on Instagram
It’s no secret that scheduling Instagram Reels is a one-way ticket to engagement in 2023.
In fact, since introducing Reels to our own Instagram account (@latermedia), we’ve seen a 500%+ increase in engagement rate.
After analyzing over 200K Reels, we found:
The overall best time to post Reels on Instagram is 4 AM (calculated in local time across time zones)
The best day to post Instagram Reels is Monday
Again, posting earlier likely translates to less competition, while tapping into users scrolling the Reels feed.
The Best Day to Post on Instagram
The overall best day to post on Instagram is Monday — with the highest average engagement occurring for posts published at 5AM.
This further proves the theory that an “early to rise, early to post” engagement strategy yields the most interactive results.
By being one of the first to post each week, you’re giving your content the best chance of being seen by your audience.
The Best Times to Post on Instagram by Day
We’ve identified that posting earlier in the day yields the best overall engagement.
Now it's time to get even more specific. Here are the best times to post on Instagram every day of the week:
The Best Time to Post on Instagram on Monday
The best time to post on Instagram on Monday is 5AM.
This could be because it’s the start of the work week and users are eager to interact with content in the early stages of their day, before clocking into office hours.
The Best Time to Post on Instagram on Tuesday
The best time to post on Instagram on Tuesday is 7AM.
While everyone’s up and early on Monday mornings, by Tuesday are they having more of a lie-in?
The Best Time to Post on Instagram on Wednesday
The best time to post on Instagram on Wednesday is 3AM.
Wednesday also tends to see a steady level of engagement between the hours of 2-6AM.
The Best Time to Post on Instagram on Thursday
The best time to post on Instagram on Thursday is 3AM, with 5AM coming in close as the second-highest time for engagement.
The Best Time to Post on Instagram on Friday
The best time to post on Instagram on Friday is 7AM.
While 7AM takes the spot for the best time, we noticed that engagement is pretty consistent between the hours of 5-8AM, too.
The Best Time to Post on Instagram on Saturday
The best time to post on Instagram on Saturday is 1AM.
Overall, Saturday sees the lowest average engagement throughout the week.
Given that Saturday is the start of the weekend, we hypothesize this shift means users are more likely to be enjoying their time offline.
The Best Time to Post on Instagram on Sunday
The best time to post on Instagram on Sunday is 1AM.
Call it a case of the Sunday scaries but compared to Saturday, Sunday actually sees a significant amount of engagement.
Between the hours of 1-7AM engagement remains consistent, dropping off as the day goes on before jumping back into action at the 11PM mark.
When is the Best Time to Post on Instagram by Location?
Another factor that can have an impact on the average best time to post on Instagram is location.
Different regions have different audience behaviors and can be heavily impacted by time zone overlaps.
For example, New York is three hours ahead of California — but accounts based in New York will likely still have followers spread across both regions.
Here are the best times to post in local times across different time zones:
US + Canada West Coast: 9PM - 12AM
US + Canada Central: 10PM - 12 AM
US + Canada East Coast: 11PM - 4AM
South America: 5AM
UK: 3AM - 4AM
Western Europe: 4AM - 6AM
Eastern Europe: 5AM - 7AM
Africa: 2AM - 3AM
Middle East: 4AM
East + Southeast Asia: 6AM - 8AM
Australasia: 11PM - 12AM
While these local times are a good starting point, if you want to get the most engagement, it’s best to find your personalized best times to post.
How to Find Your Unique Best Time to Post on Instagram
While posting when your audience is most active is still valuable, Instagram’s algorithm prioritizes multiple factors.
In other words, the algorithm monitors every interaction users make on the app in order to serve more content it believes they’ll engage with.
The takeaway? Focus on creating engaging and interesting content first, and then optimize by posting at thebest time.
Using Later’s Best Time to Post tool is the most accurate way to discover your unique optimal posting times based on actual performance data.
The tool automatically calculates your top seven posting times based on your best-performing posts from the recent month:
Your best times will be highlighted in your weekly content calendar, making it easy for you to schedule Instagram posts for when your audience is most likely to engage.
That way, you can capitalize on audience engagement without thinking twice.
Numbers? Math? No thank you. Later does the hard work, so you don’t have to!
Later’s Best Time to Post tool is available on all paid plans. Sign up today to find your unique best days and times to post on Instagram.
Start Posting on Instagram at the Best Time, Every Time
Instagram is an incredible channel for businesses and creators to achieve their marketing goals, but in 2023, it isn’t enough to just post content whenever you feel like it.
By leveraging your best time to post on Instagram and scheduling in advance, you can boost engagement, gain new followers, and even drive traffic!
*Study based on analysis of 11M image, video, and carousel posts, and 213K Instagram Reels published via Later between Jan 1-Sept 23, 2022. Data by Wissam Ghoudi.