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.
If video is more your speed, watch our YouTube video below. Otherwise, keep reading.
Table of Contents
- Does Posting Time on Instagram Really Matter?
- When is 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
- When is the Best Time to Post on Instagram by Location?
- How to Find Your Unique Best Time to Post on Instagram
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Post at the Best Time, Every Time
Does Posting Time on Instagram Really Matter?
The short answer: yes.
Posting at your personalized best time to post on Instagram (more on that, later) increases the likelihood of followers actually seeing and engaging with your posts.
When you post at the right time, you're more likely to see a boost in likes, comments, saves, and shares, because your community is online and scrolling their feeds.
Plus, engagement is a major indicator for Instagram's algorithm. The more engagement your post receives, the more likely it will be served to more users.
With that in mind, being consistent + creating engaging content + posting at your most optimal times = the best way to reach your goals on Instagram.
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, 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.
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.
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.
Start scheduling your Instagram Reels with Later today:
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 content first, and then optimize by posting at the best 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!
Frequently Asked Questions
When Is the Worst Time to Post on Instagram?
According to our data, the worst time to post on Instagram is Saturday at 5AM and Sunday at 1PM.
When Is the Worst Time to Post Reels on Instagram?
After analyzing over 200K Reels, the worst time to post Instagram Reels is Sunday at 2AM.
Is It Better to Post on Instagram in the Morning or at Night?
As we mentioned earlier, posting in the morning is by far the best time to post on Instagram — garnering the most comments and likes.
As a reminder, here are the best times to post on Instagram every day of the week:
When Should You Not Post on Instagram?
Based on our research, Saturday is the worst day of the week to post on Instagram, seeing the overall least amount of engagement throughout the week.
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.