Social Media

Best Time to Post on Instagram in 2024 (And Why)

What is the best time to post on Instagram to make sure a post gets seen?

And what about the best time to post on Instagram for likes, comments, shares, and sales?

We crunched the numbers to find out the universal best day and time to post on Instagram. Of course, all businesses and audiences are different, so we’ll also help you calculate your brand’s unique best times to post.

P.S. Looking for the best times to post on Facebook, TikTok, LinkedIn, and beyond? Check out our best time to post on social media [all networks] blog today.

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Is there a best time to post on Instagram?

Finding the best time to post on Instagram is a bit like finding a new pair of pants. Sure, you can look up reviews about the best pants in 2024. You can check out photos and videos of people wearing different styles of pants and reviewing how they look and feel. You can even ask your friends with similar body types what kind of pants they like best.

But, ultimately, the best pants (and time to post) will come down to your unique needs.

Each brand has a slightly different sweet spot for posting on Instagram. That’s because every brand on social media caters to a unique audience with unique behavior patterns. But don’t give up hope! There are certain best practices that social media marketers can follow to see great results across the board.

For example, the Instagram algorithm prioritizes recency, so posting when your followers are online is key. This means that, if all else is equal, a newer post will show up higher on the newsfeed than an older one.

Recency is honestly one of the quickest, easiest wins when it comes to optimizing a post for success. (Though we have plenty more tips on getting free Instagram likes if you’re interested).

But beyond that, it’s also important to be clear on your goals for your Instagram marketing strategy. Do you have specific targets around building awareness, higher engagement, or driving traffic? What does success look like to you, and when have your posts achieved that success in the past? Your past wins are a key guideline for when you should be posting overall.

Pair these tips with your own data on when your audience is online, engaged, and ready to act, and you’ll be well on your way to finding the best time to post on Instagram, for you.

The best time to post on Instagram in 2024

To find these results, we analyzed data from over 30,000 Instagram posts from businesses of all sizes. Then, we consulted with our own social team for insights gained from posting to an audience of 170k followers.

(Drum roll, please…)

The universal best time to post on Instagram is 11:00 AM PST (8:00 AM EST) on Wednesdays.

best times to post on instagram in 2024 graphic showing wednesday at 11am PST as the best time to post

Overall, we found that Instagram users are the most likely to interact with content during work hours midday and mid-week. And that makes sense — it is a perfect time to take a break from work or school and do some scrolling. (And liking. And commenting.)

Weekends are typically the worst days to post and don’t tend to have much Instagram engagement. We suspect that’s because people are out and about in the real world, soaking up the sun and relaxing with friends, rather than doom-scrolling. Can’t blame them!

Planning on posting more than once a week? Here’s a breakdown of the best times to post on Instagram for each day of the week.

Day of the weekTime
Monday11:00 AM PST
Tuesday8:00 AM PST
Wednesday11:00 AM PST
Thursday11:00 AM PST
Friday2:00 PM PST
Saturday8:00 AM PST
Sunday6:00 PM PST

If you’re just starting off on Instagram and don’t have a lot of past data or audience insights to work with, try posting around these peak times.

As your account grows, we recommend tweaking your posting schedule to fit your specific audience’s activity patterns. Use Hootsuite’s Best Time to Post heatmaps to learn exactly when your audience is online and most likely to engage.

heat map showing best time to post on instagram is wednesdays at 11am
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The best time to post on Instagram by day of the week

Want to know the best time of day to post on Instagram, every day of the week? Your best bet is to use Hootsuite’s Best Time to Publish tool to find brand-specific data.

But, if you’re just starting out, here are some more general data points to get you going.

The best time to post on Instagram on Monday

The best time to post on Instagram on Monday is 11:00 AM PST. It seems most Instagrammers are taking the start of the week easy, and not diving into their feeds until closer to lunchtime.

Don’t let this data lull you into posting ad-hoc, day-of, though! Planning your posts in advance, and scheduling them for the right time for your audience, will always bring the best results.

The best time to post on Instagram on Tuesday

The best time to post on Instagram on Tuesday is 8:00 AM PST. Engagement is also strong between 8-10 AM, with 8:00 AM being the peak. It seems like users are better rested on this day, and ready to engage.

The best time to post on Instagram on Wednesday

The best time to post on Instagram on Wednesday is 11:00 AM PST. Wednesday is also the day that accounts seem to get the highest engagement overall.

The best time to post on Instagram on Thursday

The best time to post on Instagram on Thursday is 11:00 AM PST. In general, the 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM stretch is good for high engagement on any weekday.

The best time to post on Instagram on Friday

2:00 PM PST is the best time to post on Instagram on Friday. Friday engagement is consistent throughout the morning and lunch hour, from 7 AM to 2:00 PM.

The best time to post on Instagram on Saturday

8:00 AM PST is the overall best time to post on Saturday. Grab those eyeballs before people get into their offline weekend plans!

The best time to post on Instagram on Sunday

The best time to post on Instagram on Sunday is 6:00 PM PST. Engagement on Sundays is pretty consistent throughout the afternoon and evening. It remains steady from 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM.

When is the best time to post Reels and Stories on Instagram?

If you’re looking to grow your Instagram followers and engagement, posting Reels at any time of day is a no-brainer. Our data shows that Reels can get up to 300% more engagement than regular Instagram videos.

At Hootsuite, we’ve been posting Reels to our Instagram audience of 200k followers for over two years. Over that time, we’ve learned that the best time to post Reels on instagram is 9 AM and 12 PM PST, Monday to Thursday.

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Instagram Stories are a little more evergreen, but recency is a big factor in whether or not your Story is shown in the top bar.

According to Instagram, the Stories algorithm considers the following factors when showing content:

  • User engagement. How often certain users have engaged with your Stories in the past.
  • Viewing history. How often a user chooses your Story over another accounts.
  • Closeness. The user’s relationship to you (do you DM often, comment back and forth, are you family, etc.)

So, in order to have your Stories seen, you’ll need to:

  1. Post good, engaging content frequently and often
  2. Have a good relationship with your followers

In this case, timing is less important than overall social media presence. Aim to post Stories regularly, and be sure to communicate with your audience as much as possible. Tools like Hootsuite Inbox and Streams can help you communicate effectively from a single dashboard.

What affects the best time to post on Instagram?

Of course, the best times to post on Instagram are different for every business. It’s not just about your content and posting schedule, but also the habits of your audience, the current social climate, and geographical trends.

Here are a few things to consider when diving into your posting time data.

Your unique audience

Just like every body type is different (and needs different pants) every business audience is different (and needs different attention).

Think about it this way: an online e-commerce business that sells sneakers is going to have a completely different audience than a bank, or a healthcare facility. Sure, there might be some overlap (everyone needs shoes) but trying to target the same audience as a shoe-seller probably won’t work out in the long run.

When your audience is online depends on their unique schedules and habits. People looking for shoes likely do so on weekends or after work. Or, maybe they do it during the weekday while sitting at their desk.

You really can’t know when your audience is most active without looking into your data. Only then will you see what your specific audience tends to do (and not do) online.

Pro Tip: Social listening is one of the best ways to understand your audience.

The built-in Instagram Insights tool will give you some data about when your audience is most online.

instagram insights dashboard showing audience most active at 12pm on a monday

Or, you can take advantage of the best time to post on Instagram suggestions and heat maps built into the Hootsuite platform.

hootsuite composer showing best times to post on instagram while drafting post

As you read through your data, keep an eye on the following:

  • Age groups: Younger audiences, like teenagers and young adults, tend to be online late at night and on weekends. Older users might check Instagram early in the morning or during lunch breaks.
  • Work schedules: For working professionals, posting during commute times (early morning and late afternoon) or lunch breaks can get you the most engagement.
  • Daily routines: Think about what your audience does each day. Fitness fans might check Instagram around their workout times, while parents might be more active during school hours.

The more you know about your audience’s habits, the better equipped you’ll be to reach them when they are most likely to interact with you. And interactions = results (well, most of the time, anyways).

Pro Tip: Use Hootsuite Analytics to learn about your audience’s habits and tailor your posting schedule to fit their routines.

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Your industry

Okay, so you understand when your audience is most active online. And you’re already posting at times that are most likely to engage them. Nice work.

Now, it’s time to start thinking of growing that audience — and what better way to do that than to take a peek at your wider industries, and maybe even your competitor’s data.

Your industry will impact the availability of your audience and your best time to post on Instagram data. For example, if you’re a business targeting nurses and doctors, you might see an influx of activity late at night, or super early in the morning.

In the same vein, knowledge workers will be most active before and after work, with a little bump up midday around lunch breaks.

You can use advanced tools like Hootsuite’s industry benchmarking tool to see not only what your audience is doing, but what your competitors’ audience is doing (remember, they might be your audience one day, too).

industry benchmarking tool shown in hootsuite dashboard

Use this data to paint a picture of your ideal audience, and begin to learn how to target and engage them with your posting times.

Pro Tip: New to competitor research? Check out our competitor analysis template and guide to dig deep into industry data, trends, and tips.

Time zones

Of course, localization is another important factor in your best time to post on Instagram data. Much of the data we’ve provided in this blog is shown in Pacific Standard Time (PST) but if your business is operating in Eastern Standard Time (EST) or even India Standard Time (IST) you’ll need to convert those times to your specific time zone for accuracy.

If you’re targeting audiences at a global level, this data becomes even more granular.

Consider posting at times that straddle time zones. For example, 6 AM PST is 9 AM EST, which might give you access to both Eastern and Western audiences at the same time. Or, posting at 9 PM PST will reach people in Indian at around 9 AM IST. You get the drift.

Similarly, posting once in the morning for your North American audience, and again in the late evening for your overseas audience, can help open your content up to a more globalized audience.

As always, don’t go about this uninformed. Use your data as a guide to see when your audience is most online, and most engaged.

Algorithm changes

Algorithm changes are the bane of every social media manager’s existence. One day you’re ranking high, and the next you might as well be invisible.

We get it.

But, keeping up with Instagram’s algorithm is key when figuring out the best times to post. The algorithm doesn’t just show posts in order of when they were shared; it prioritizes content it thinks you’ll find most interesting.

Here’s what the Instagram algorithm is prioritizing right now:

  • Engagement: Instagram loves posts that get lots of likes, comments, shares, and saves right after being posted. So, posting when your audience is most active can help boost your content.
  • Relevance: Instagram decides how relevant each piece of content is by analyzing its fit with trending topics and its timeliness. Posting at peak times ensures that your content is fresh and more likely to appear in their feeds.
  • Content type: The algorithm also takes into account the type of content users interact with the most. If your audience prefers videos or Stories, posting these types at optimal times can help your content stand out.

Always stay updated with Instagram’s changes and adjust your strategy accordingly to keep your posts visible.

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Geographical events

Geographical events can impact your engagement rate and may require you to revamp your posting time schedule on the fly.

For example, if an earthquake just occurred in your target area and power has been cut, your audience may be on and offline at new hours.

You may also find that a social media crisis, whether related to your brand or industry, or not, can affect how and when your posts are seen.

Holidays, school schedules, and political events can all influence the way people act online, so be on the lookout for any changes in engagement, and adjust your posting times accordingly.

How to find your unique best time to post on Instagram with Hootsuite

Finding your unique best time to post on Instagram is easier than ever with Hootsuite. Use these powerful tools to help you pinpoint the perfect times to share your content for maximum engagement.

Here’s how you can use Hootsuite to find those best time to post on Instagram sweet spots:

Best Time to Publish

Hootsuite’s Best Time to Publish feature takes the guesswork out of scheduling your posts. It analyzes your past performance and audience engagement patterns to recommend the optimal times for your content.

Here’s how to use it in your dashboard:

Navigate to your Hootsuite dashboard and go to Analytics.

arrow pointing to analytics button in hootsuite dashboard

From the left-hand menu, choose Best Time to Publish.

arrow pointing to best time to publish button in hootsuite dashboard

Choose the Instagram account you want to see Best Time to Post data on from the dropdown menu.

best time to publish feature showing drop down with different social media accounts to link

Here, you’ll see customized heatmaps that dig into your audience’s Instagram habits, plus recommendations on the best days and times to post.

Hootsuite provides specific time slots where your posts are likely to get the most engagement. These insights are based on your unique audience data, ensuring personalized advice.

best time to publish feature showing heat map and recommended dates and times to publish
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You can also filter the data by your specific goals, whether it’s for reach, awareness, or engagement. This allows you to tailor the recommendations to what matters most for your Instagram strategy.

Recommended Times in Composer

When you’re ready to create a post, Recommended Times in Composer lets you find out when is the best time to post on Instagram directly in your drafted post.

Here’s how it works:

Start by crafting your Instagram post in the Composer. Add your image, caption, hashtags, and any other elements.

hootsutie composer showing drafted post

As you’re composing your post, choose Schedule for later in the bottom right corner. Then, select the date and time you’d like your post to go live.

arrow pointing to best time to recommended times feature in Hootsuite composer

Here, Hootsuite suggests the best times to publish right within the Composer. These suggestions are tailored based on your audience’s activity patterns and your previous post performance.

Choose one of the recommended times, or select a custom time that fits your strategy. With Hootsuite’s data-driven recommendations, you can be confident that you’re posting when your audience is most active.

Manage your Instagram presence alongside your other social channels and save time using Hootsuite. From a single dashboard, you can schedule and publish posts, engage the audience, and measure performance. Try it free today.

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