The Best Time to Post on Instagram in 2018

When is the best time to post on Instagram?

Just like the Instagram algorithm, the answer seems to change every year.

Last year in our poll, over 50% of social media managers said that evenings from 7-9pm was the best time to post on Instagram.

In 2018, the majority of social media managers said that lunch time from 11am-1pm was their best time to post on Instagram, followed by evenings from 7-9pm.

But – that doesn’t mean those are the best times to post for YOU!

There are lots of studies about when the best time to post on Instagram is, but every Instagram account has a unique audience, in different time zones, so it’s important to determine what your individual best time to post on Instagram is.

The good news? We’re showing you exactly how to find your own best time to post on Instagram:

When is the Best Time to Post on Instagram?

If you want to beat the Instagram algorithm in 2018, scheduling Instagram posts for when the majority of your followers are online is super important. 

Not only does the algorithm care about how much engagement your Instagram post gets, it also cares about how quickly you get that engagement.

If you post at a time when most of your instagram followers are online, you give yourself a better chance of racking up those likes — quickly!

If your post gets a lot of likes and comments shortly after it’s posted, this signals to Instagram that your Instagram post is quality content, and the algorithm will then show your post to even more of your followers! 

By finding out your personalized best time to post on Instagram, you can hack the algorithm to increase your reach and get more likes and followers.

So how do you find your own best time to post on Instagram in 2018?

Here are some general rules to follow about the best time to post on Instagram:

  • Post for your most active timezone(s): you may be located in LA, but if most of your followers are in New York, you should be posting with the EST time zone in mind.If you have followers in both North America and the UK, you may find that posting at “odd” times in your timezone (like midnight PST) actually perform well for you, because it’s 8am in London, England.
  • Post more during off-work hours instead of during the day: generally, the best times to post on Instagram are lunch time (11am-1pm) and evenings (7-9pm).Instead of posting while you’re at your desk,  schedule Instagram posts during the work day so you don’t have to worry about it during your free time! 
  • Save the important posts for weekdays: The differences are slight, but average Instagram engagement does shift depending on the day. According to our own research, Wednesdays and Thursdays tend to drive the most engagement, while Sundays drive the least. 


Despite the general rules above, there really is no single best time to post to Instagram.

Different audiences will be active at different times, and in varying time zones, which is why it’s important to find your individual best time to post on Instagram. 

If you want to skip the math and instantly know when your best times to post on Instagram are, you can use an Instagram marketing platform like Later.

best time to post on instagram

Later’s Best Time to Post feature automatically calculates your 7 top posting times based on how much engagement your posts get. 

Because this feature is built into Later, an Instagram scheduler, it’s super easy to find out when you should schedule Instagram posts for maximum engagement.

If you’re on one of Later’s business plans, which start at just $19/month, your best times to post will be highlighted in your weekly content calendar, making it super easy for you to automatically schedule Instagram posts for when your audience is most active!


Other Ways to Calculate Your Best Time to Post on Instagram

If you don’t want to pay to find your best times to post on Instagram, you can also calculate them yourself manually.

1. Find Your Top Time Zones

When it comes to the best times to post on Instagram, it’s essential to think about the time zones of your Instagram followers.

The best thing you can do to find your optimal posting time for Instagram is to research your audience using Instagram’s native analytics, located in your Instagram app. 

The best part? Instagram Insights is free!

In order to get access to this feature, you’ll need to set up an Instagram business profile:

best time to post on instagram

Instagram Insights gives marketers everything they could ask for: you can see where your followers are located, their gender, their age, and, most importantly, when they’re most active on Instagram.

You can also view your followers’ locations by country or city, so you know which time zones you should be posting in to reach the majority of your followers.

Insights makes it easy for you to find the best time to post on Instagram because it shows you both the most popular days and times when your followers are using Instagram.

Using this data, you can get a good, general understanding of the best times and best days to post on Instagram, based on your own followers!

2. Experiment with Posting Times and Measure your Progress

If you’d rather crunch the numbers yourself, you can create a spreadsheet to track how much engagement you receive when you post at different times on different days. 

Start by picking five different times throughout the week.

For example, if you notice that your followers are most active between 5 and 9pm EST, schedule your posts to appear at 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9pm.

In your spreadsheet, track how many likes and comments each post receives, along with the date and time that you posted them.


The following week, switch the timing of your posts for each day. For example, if you posted at 5pm on Monday in week 1, post at 6pm during week 2.


It might take a few weeks, but you can use this information to help you choose the best days to share to specific networks based on your own audience, along with the times that work best for getting traffic on those specific days.


How to Schedule for Your Best Time to Post to Instagram

Now that you know when your Instagram audience is most active, and how to drive the most engagement based on your audience’s activity, the last step is to schedule your Instagram posts for your personalized best times to post on Instagram.



There are many reasons why you should be scheduling Instagram posts in 2018, but one of the top reasons is that you’ll be able to consistently have content going out at your best times to post on Instagram.

One of the best ways to ensure that you are consistently posting when your audience is most active is to use Later’s Quick Schedule tool.

With Quick Schedule, you can create your own Instagram queue based on your best times to post.

You just have to select your posting times once, and then when you queue up your Instagram posts they will automatically be scheduled for your best times to post on Instagram


And thanks to Later’s new Auto Publish feature, you can now schedule Instagram posts directly to Instagram, no push notifications required!

Instagram business profiles can now schedule Instagram posts that will automatically post at the scheduled time, so you don’t have to use push notifications as reminders anymore! 

Later’s Auto Publishing to Instagram makes it way easier to post to Instagram at your best times!

For example, if your followers are in Europe but you’re located in Los Angeles, you might not be awake when your audience most active on Instagram. With Later’s Auto Publish, you can schedule your posts for your best times and not have to worry about being awake to open a push notification — your post will automatically publish to your Instagram account!

Instagram is an incredible channel for businesses to achieve their marketing goals.

But in 2018, it just isn’t enough to just post content whenever you feel like it.

By planning and scheduling your posts in advance for the best time to post on Instagram, you can boost your engagement, drive traffic, and gain new followers and customers!

Ready to get your social media strategy off the ground? Later makes it easy for you to plan, manage, and schedule your Instagram posts! 

Written By

Taylor Loren

Taylor Loren is the Head of Marketing at Later. She was named a LinkedIn Top Voice for social media marketing, and you can follow her writing on LinkedIn or connect with her on Instagram at @taylor.loren.