Instagram Stories Analytics: Every Metric You Need to Know

Want to get more Instagram Stories views and engagement? It all starts with how to understand your Instagram Stories analytics!

With over 300 million active users, Instagram Stories is a great way for businesses to connect with new audiences, boost engagement — and even drive more sales!

But in order to create a winning Instagram Stories strategy, you need to have a clear idea of how to measure your performance.

So how can you tell what’s working and what isn’t?

In this post, we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of your Instagram Stories analytics, what each metric means, and how you can use this knowledge to improve your Instagram Stories strategy:

Instagram Stories analytics

How to Understand Instagram Stories Analytics

Tracking your Instagram Stories analytics is key to understanding your audience, optimizing your content, and evaluating your overall performance.

Similar to the analytics for your Instagram posts and account, your Instagram Stories analytics can found by tapping the “Insights” button in the top right corner of your Business Profile (if you haven’t converted to a Business Profile yet, you can check out our blog post on how do it here).

Here’s what Instagram Stories Insights look like on iOS:


Once you open your Instagram Insights, switch to the “Content” tab at the top of the screen. Here you’ll see data for both your regular Instagram posts as well as your Instagram Stories.


To get a deeper look into your Instagram Stories analytics, open your story and swipe up for a full list of insights. This will pull up a number of important metrics that can help you measure the success of your Instagram Stories:

Instagram Stories Individual Insights

Below, we’ll break down each of the different Instagram Stories metrics and how they can help you optimize your strategy. 

What is the Difference Between Reach & Impressions in Instagram Stories Analytics?

Reach and Impressions both help you understand the size of your Instagram Stories audience, but what’s the difference between them?  

Reach is the the number of visits a unique account viewed each slide in your story, while impressions is the total number of views on each of your individual Instagram Stories.

Impressions go a step deeper than reach, offering relevant data including when someone has watched your story more than once. If your total impressions are higher than your reach, this means your story was replayed multiple times.

Your impressions will often be higher than your reach, but never the other way around.

If you notice that your reach is declining, you may want to rethink the type of content you share. Don’t be afraid to switch things up (just make sure to track when you do!) to find out what your audience is most interested in seeing.

Luckily, there are a ton of creative features you can use to improve your Instagram Stories content within the app! Using these features in a consistent way can add a ton of personality to your Stories and help you build a loyal following.

Want to take your Instagram Stories to the next level? Watch our free Instagram training course, How to Use Instagram Stories for Business!

Instagram Stories Analytics: How to Find Your Stories Completion Rate 

Instagram Stories analytics also offer data on how viewers interact with your Instagram Stories, so you can find out crucial information about how many people are engaging with your entire story.

If you view a single slide in your story, you’ll notice a list of metrics including: Forward, Back, Next Story, and Exits:   

Instagram Stories Interactions

This type of engagement data for Instagram Stories analytics is great for finding out what types of content perform the best, so you can determine what you should be posting more of! Here’s what each of them means:

Taps Forward

Taps Forward is the number of times a viewer tapped the right side of the screen to jump to the next story in the queue. Since a lot of people “speed tap” their way through watching Instagram Stories, Taps Backward, Next Story, and Exits are all better indications of how your Stories are performing.

For example, if you’re running an Instagram account for an online sneaker store, you’ll want to pay attention to how different types of content perform against each other.

Is your audience most engaged when you’re sharing product photos? Or do they tend to prefer behind-the-scenes footage? Are they swiping away from photos but tapping forward on video content?

Tracking these kinds of metrics can help you find out now not just how similar content performs, but how different content buckets perform against each other.

Taps Backward

Taps Backward is the number of times a viewer tapped the left side of the screen to rewatch the previous story.

This can be a great sign of what’s working!

When a viewer taps backwards,  it can mean they think content is worth re-watching or that it caught their attention while they were speed tapping through their Stories. If a post has a lot of taps backward, make note of the type of content and keep testing it in your future Stories!

This is one of the best ways to unlock new trends and find out what works for your audience.

Next Story & Exits

Exits are the number of times someone has swiped out of your story, while Next Story indicates the number of taps to the next account’s story.

While these two metrics are similar, exits have a less negative connotation. For example, if someone exits your story,  it could just mean that the viewer was running out of time to watch stories. Also, if you include a clickable link in you story, they may have swiped up to learn more.

Next Story is more of an indicator that the viewer was over watching your story and wanted to skip to the next one. This data can help you determine how long your optimal Instagram Stories posts should be, whether it’s 3 slides or 13 slides.

These metrics can also be incredibly telling and show where in your content strategy you can improve to keep your audience’s attention. If you’re seeing a lot of nexts or exits for your Stories, you may want to consider reviewing the quality of your content.

You always want to create content that’s interesting enough to keep your audience tapping through to the end and coming back for more!

How to Measure Engagement with Instagram Stories Analytics

Instagram Stories analytics also track the types of interactions your Instagram Stories receive. These interactions are broken down into Swipe-Ups and Replies.


Last year, Instagram rolled out the ability to add links to Instagram Stories and it’s a pretty big deal. In fact, it’s the first time ever that users can add links to Instagram that aren’t the link in their bio! (The feature is only available Instagram business profiles with 10,000+ followers, or verified profiles).

Whether you use clickable links to drive traffic to your web campaigns, product pages, or blog posts, tracking the number of times users “swipe up” on your Instagram Stories is a great way to figure out what kinds of content are best for driving traffic.

If your swipe-ups are low, try adding text letting users know to “Swipe up!” or an arrow pointing to the bottom of your screen. There’s also cute “swipe up” Instagram Stories GIFs you can use too! It’s possible your audience may be missing the link and needs a little nudge in the right direction:  



Similar to engagements for photos and videos, replies are the number of times someone has directly responded to a portion of your story. But unlike comments on a photo or video, these responses end up in your inbox and don’t appear publicly.


Creating Instagram Stories that encourage followers to reply is a great way to boost your overall engagement (and the Instagram algorithm will reward you for it too)!

Pay close attention to what content drives your audience to connect with you, and continue to take advantage of these opportunities to connect with your followers in the future!

These interactions will not only help keep your Instagram Stories at the top of your followers’ feeds, but will help drive deeper connections with your audience.  

Measuring Hashtag + Location Stickers with Instagram Stories Analytics

Instagram Stories analytics also show you the number of taps on stickers, making it easier to evaluate their performance in your Instagram Stories! You’ll be able to see how many people clicked on each sticker, which can help you understand if they’re useful to your audience or not.


Recently, Instagram expanded the Search & Explore page to include hashtag and location Stories. Now when you add a hashtag or location sticker to a story, other users will be able to find it if they search it on the Explore page. This means that your Stories are now discoverable by anyone on the platform!

Measuring Discovery with Instagram Stories Analytics 

If your story gets featured in a hashtag or location story by Instagram, you can also track the number of viewers who viewed it through the Instagram Explore page!

When your story is added to the search results for a location, Instagram let you know by sending you a notification, or you can view it at the top of your story. When someone views your story from a hashtag or location page, you’ll see the name of that page when looking at who watched your story in your Instagram Stories analytics.

This gives you the opportunity to reach tons of new and undiscovered audiences with your Instagram Stories. And if they like what they see, they might even give you a follow!

How to Optimize Your Instagram Stories Strategy Using Analytics

Now that you understand what the different Instagram Stories metrics mean, you’re ready to optimize your Instagram Stories strategy!

It’s key to track overall patterns and learnings when digging into your analytics, as many different factors can affect your day-to-day success. Testing different types of content and Instagram Stories features can help you identify trends, monitor “wins,” and help you create a fine-tuned Instagram Stories strategy that truly resonates with your audience.

In addition to the metrics above, keep in mind the time of day, type of content, length of story and other factors that may be contributing to your Instagram Stories performance.

While Instagram Stories analytics provides you with the data, it’s up to you to keep testing and tweaking your content strategy!

Ready to get started growing your business with stories? Enroll in our free Instagram Stories Course today! 

Written By

Lexie Carbone

Lexie is a content marketer at Later. She’s helped dozens of brands build their social presence and take their content strategy to the next level. You can connect with her on Instagram @lexiecarbone.