The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Analytics
Instagram Tips & Resources

The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Analytics

By Jillian Warren
Updated on November 11, 2021
12 minute read

Let's get analytical.

Published November 11, 2021

If you want to grow your Instagram account, taking a look at your Instagram analytics (also known as "Insights") is a great place to start.

Instagram analytics can help you target the right audience, improve your content strategy, and reach new audiences.

But learning all of the different Instagram metrics and terms, and how to use this data for growth, is no mean feat.

In our Ultimate Guide to Instagram Analytics, we’ll walk through what each metric means, and how you can use this knowledge to build a winning content strategy.

Why Instagram Analytics Matter

Instagram analytics are the best way to understand who your audience is, when they’re most active, and what type of content they engage with the most.

This level of insight is hugely important for creating a content strategy that drives results for your brand or business — without it, you’re essentially working in the dark.

However, finding the right metrics to track, as well as knowing how to interpret them, can be easier said than done.

Every brand or business has its own unique goals (from growing a follower count to increasing clicks and conversions) which means that the most important metrics differ on a case-by-case basis.

Once you’ve clarified your goals, you’ll be able to get so much more from your Instagram Analytics — as you’ll have clear objectives to monitor in your social media reporting.

Discover how to use Later's Instagram Analytics tools to fuel your growth in this quick video tutorial:

How to Access Instagram Insights

Instagram Insights (Instagram's in-app analytics) are only available to business or creator profiles, which is just one of the many reasons we recommend switching to an Instagram business or creator profile.

Once you have an Instagram business or creator profile, you can easily access your analytics through the Insights tab in the Instagram app.

Start by tapping on the menu icon in the top right corner of your profile, and then click on Insights tab, which will open the analytics for your business or creator profile. Alternately, you can tap the Insights button on your profile page.

Access Instagram Insights

Once you open your Insights, you’ll be able to find a ton of metrics and analytics for your posts, stories, and audience demographics.

NOTE: Instagram can only show you analytics for posts and stories that were published after you switched to a business or creator profile.

How to Access Analytics With Later’s Analytics Dashboard

Alongside Instagram’s native analytics, Later’s Instagram Analytics feature gives you a visual overview of how your posts and stories are performing – all in an easy-to-use dashboard.

Access Analytics With Later’s Analytics Dashboard

You’ll find all of the must-have analytics from Instagram in a digestible format, as well as several extra data points — including your best time to post (available on Growth and Advanced plans).

You can track up to 12 months worth of Instagram feed posts and stories, so you can see which have performed best — and filter by all the key metrics, such as likes, reach, comments, and more.

Plus, Later’s Instagram Analytics have separate “Post Performance” and “Story Performance” dashboards — so you can see exactly how each channel is driving value for your brand.

Ready to start tracking your performance more efficiently? Sign up to Later and explore the Instagram Analytics dashboard today — now available for both Instagram business and creator accounts.

Part #1: How to Use Instagram Audience Analytics

Getting to grips with your audience analytics is a great way to understand who you’re talking to — so you can tailor your content strategy and posting times accordingly.

Open the Insights tab in Instagram, scroll down to “Your Audience,” and tap “See All.”

From here, you’ll be able to see an overview of your follower breakdown for up to 90 days including:

  • Follower Growth (Overall, Follows, and Unfollows)

  • Top Locations (Cities and Countries)

  • Age Range (All, Men, and Women)

  • Gender

  • Most Active Times (Hours and Days)

Use Instagram Audience Analytics

Key Metric: Follower Growth

Monitoring your follower growth over time, and comparing it with your content strategy, is a great way to understand what’s working for your account.

For example, if you notice a large uptick in followers after sharing an Instagram Reel, this is a valuable insight you can use to inform your future strategy.

TIP: If you’re looking to track your follower growth over a longer amount of time, Later’s Instagram Analytics track up to 12 months worth of data!

Key Metric: Follower Growth

Key Metric: Top Locations

You can also use Instagram Insights to get a better understanding of your audience – so you can get a better idea of your unique best time to post.

You can discover where your audience is based, as well as when they are most active; both valuable indicators for optimizing your Instagram posting strategy.

Later analyzed over 35M feed posts (excluding Reels and IGTV) to find the best time to post (in local times) for several regions. This can be used as a great starting point when used in combination with your unique audience top location insights.

Key Metric: Top Locations

You can also use Later’s Best Time to Post feature to automatically calculate your top 7 posting times based on your previous activity — then, you can easily set up posts at these optimal times with our Instagram Scheduler.

Key Metric: Top Locations

Upgrade to one of Later’s Starter, Growth or Advanced plans today and start capitalizing on your best times to post.

Part #2: Instagram Feed Post Analytics

There are 2 different ways to access feed post analytics in Instagram.

The first is through the Insights tab. Scroll down to “Content You Shared” and tap the arrow alongside your recent posts.

Instagram Feed Post Analytics

From here, you can sort up to 2 years of feed posts based on a whole range of metrics:

  • Call Button Taps

  • Comments

  • Email Button Taps

  • Follows

  • Get Directions Taps

  • Impressions

  • Likes

  • Post Interactions

  • Profile Visits

  • Reach

  • Saves

  • Text Button Taps

  • Video Views

  • Website Taps

NOTE: You may see even more options if you have Instagram’s Shopping features enabled (more on this later).

This is a great way to gain a holistic view of the content that has performed best over a set period of time — which can help inform your strategy.

Instagram Feed Post Analytics

For a more detailed performance overview, tap “View Insights” beneath a published post. From here, you’ll be able to see all the main metrics, including:

  • Likes

  • Comments

  • Sends (Only available outside of Europe)

  • Saves

  • Interactions (Profile visits and Website clicks)

  • Discovery (Accounts reached and Follows)

  • Impressions (from hashtags, home, profile, and other)

Instagram Feed Post Analytics

Each metric provides valuable insight for your account. For example:

  • Likes, comments, and sends metrics are a great way to learn what posts encourage engagement from your community.

  • Saves often show what content resonates deeply with your audience, provides inspiration, or has lasting value.

  • Website clicks are a strong indicator that your followers were inspired to learn more about your product or service.

  • Impressions show how well your post is performing with the Instagram algorithm. For high performing posts, take note of where your impressions came from, the time and day of posting, and whether there’s any thematic content trends worth noting.

If you notice a lot of impressions in the “from hashtags” metric, this means you’re onto a winning formula with your hashtag strategy.

TIP: Get extra hashtag analytics with Later’s Detailed Hashtag Performance feature. Unlike Instagram’s native analytics, you can see the median number of likes, comments, impressions, saves, and reach per each individual hashtag you’ve used over the last 3 months.

Get extra hashtag analytics with Later’s Detailed Hashtag Performance feature.

NOTE: Later’s Detailed Hashtag Performance feature is available on Later’s Growth and Advanced plans.

Part #3: Instagram Stories Analytics

Much like with Instagram feed posts, you can discover Instagram Stories analytics through the Insights tab, or by swiping up on a live Instagram story.

On the Insights tab, scroll down to “Content You Shared” and tap the arrow alongside your recent stories.

Instagram Stories Analytics

From here, you can sort up to 90 days of stories based on the following metrics:

  • Back

  • Call Button Taps

  • Email Button Taps

  • Exited

  • Follows

  • Next Story

  • Get Directions Taps

  • Impressions

  • Link Clicks

  • Forward

  • Profile Visits

  • Reach

  • Text Buttons Taps

  • Website Taps

Reviewing your stories’ performance is a great way to understand what type of Instagram Stories work best for your brand.

For example, you may notice that posts with the highest impressions or reach all contain Instagram Stories stickers — a sign that this strategy resonates with your audience.

Instagram Stories Analytics

For a more detailed performance overview, swipe up on a live story and select the insights icon on the left-hand side of the screen.

Here, you can see:

  • Interactions (Profile visits)

  • Impressions

  • Follows

  • Navigation (Back, Forwards, Next story, and Exited)

Pay close attention to the Exited metric, as it can be indicative of where your audience lost interest in your content — and something to avoid in future.

TIP: Later’s Instagram Stories Analytics allow you can track and sort up to 12 months of detailed performance data in an easy-to-use dashboard.

Later’s Instagram Stories Analytics allows to track and sort up to 12 months of detailed performance data in an easy-to-use dashboard.

Plus, Later automatically calculates your Instagram Stories’ completion rate, which is the percentage of viewers that watched all of your stories without exiting — a metric that isn’t available in the Instagram app.

Analyze your Instagram Stories data with Later’s Instagram Stories Analytics today — available on Later’s Growth and Advanced plans!

Part #4: Instagram Reels Analytics

Instagram Reels analytics are a fairly new addition to the Insights tab.

To access them, you can open the Instagram Insights menu, or open a specific Reel and tapping the three dot icon.

Metrics include Plays, Reel interactions, Reach, Likes, Comments, and Saves.

Instagram Reels Analytics
Source: Instagram

NOTE: Views of Reels shared to Instagram Stories are included in the overall view count.

Part #5: Video Analytics

Just like with Instagram feed posts, you can view the performance of up to 2 years’ worth of video through Instagram’s Insights tab.

To access this data, scroll down to “Content You Shared” and tap the arrow alongside the Video tab.

From here, you’ll be able to filter and rank your videos based on several performance metrics:

  • Average Percentage Watched

  • Website Taps

  • Call Button Taps

  • Comments

  • Email Button Taps

  • Follows

  • Business address taps

  • Impressions

  • Likes

  • Profile visits

  • Reach

  • Saves

By assessing which videos kept your viewers hooked and engaged, you’ll get a good idea of what content you should continue to create. The more engaged your audience is, the more likely you are to carry favor with the Instagram algorithm.

To delve into the insights for an individual video, tap the three dots at the bottom of a published video and select “View Insights.”

Part #6: Instagram Shopping Analytics

If you’re tagging products in your posts with Instagram Shopping, it’s a good idea to keep a close eye on which ones are driving the most value for your business.

For an overview of how your shoppable posts are performing, head to the Insights tab, scroll down to “Content You Shared,” and tap the arrow alongside your recent posts or stories.

From here, you should be able to sort your posts and stories by a few product-specific metrics, which will vary depending on whether your account has Instagram Checkout enabled or not.

To see how an individual post is performing, tap “View Insights” to see extra shopping-specific metrics in addition to all the others.

Instagram Shopping Analytics

These two data points can be really insightful:

  • Product page views

  • Product button clicks

How? If a product post has a high number of page views but very few clicks, it’s likely that your product description, imagery, or price point isn’t compelling enough to convert into click-throughs or sales.

Part #7: Instagram Live Analytics

Instagram Live analytics are available through Instagram’s Insights tab.

Instagram Live Analytics
Source: Instagram

Users can see the number of Accounts Reached, Peak Concurrent Viewers, Comments, and Shares.

Looking to level-up your Instagram Live strategy? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Instagram Live here.

Part #8: Instagram Guides Analytics

When it comes to Instagram Guides, there are almost no Instagram analytics available right now.

As Instagram Guides are a curation of existing posts, products, and locations — views are counted in the metrics for the original content, but not available for Guides specifically.

This is something that will probably change as Instagram Guides continue to evolve, especially given their potential for driving e-commerce on the platform.

Ready to get started with Instagram Guides? Find out everything you need to know here.

How to Track and Report on Instagram Analytics

As you can see, there are hundreds of Instagram metrics you can track and report on — but trying to tackle them all might not be the best use of your time.

Having a clear view of your brand goals, and the key Instagram metrics that will help achieve them, is often a more efficient approach.

Once you’ve clarified your goals, it’s worthwhile creating a social media report to track your progress in a visually powerful and digestible way.

We’ve created free social media reporting templates available in PDF or Google Slides (Powerpoint).

Just fill out the form below to create your own analytics report and start showcasing your results:

Tracking your Instagram analytics over time will give you a better idea of what type of content helps achieve your goals, so you can build on your success in the future.

You can also download all your key Instagram metrics in a CSV file straight from Later’s Instagram Analytics dashboard!

However you approach Instagram analytics, understanding how your content performs can be a game-changer for your content strategy.

Test out different objectives, play around with your tactics, tweak your content, and see what sticks. The results may surprise you — in a good way.

And if you’re not sure where to start, Later’s Instagram Analytics dashboard has all the basics covered — sign up to Later today to get started!

Never Miss a Trend AgainJoin over 1 million marketers to get social news, trends, and tips right to your inbox!Email Address
Never Miss a Trend AgainJoin over 1 million marketers to get social news, trends, and tips right to your inbox!Email Address

Plan, schedule, and automatically publish your social media posts with Later.


9 min read

When Is the Best Time to Post on Instagram in 2023?

By Amanda Demeku

6 min read

How Often Should You Post on Instagram Every Week?

By Monique Thomas

3 min read

How to Hack the Instagram Reels Algorithm in 2023

By Amanda Demeku