Best times to post on social media

What Is The Best Time To Post On Instagram? [+ Cheatsheet]

Does the time of posting on Instagram affect the success of your campaign? The answer is yes. Posting at the best time for your brand will significantly improve the likelihood that your followers will see your post and engage with it. And because engagement is one of the main ranking factors for the Instagram algorithm, the better your engagement, the more people will see your posts.

This is why understanding the best time to post is one of the strategies for success on Instagram, and with the ever-changing algorithm of the platform paired with fierce competition for attention, it becomes even more important.

With this in mind, in this article, we go through everything you need to know about the best posting times on Instagram, from posting times per post type to calculating your own best times for posting.

What Is The Best Time To Post On Instagram?

Best and worst times to post on Instagram

Well, there is no single definitive answer to this. As in everything related to social media, the answer will vary case by case, as it depends on many variables.

With this said, we’ve looked through a bunch of studies, and most of them do cite a specific best time to post on Instagram. This information varies depending on the number of posts studied but also depends significantly on the time zone (most of them citing CT (Central Time US) in their studies). Here’s what we’ve found:

● According to Later, the recommended time frame is from 9 am to 11 am (EST).
● Hubspot suggests posting between 2 pm and 3 pm (CDT) with Thursday being the most favorable day.
● Sprout Social found that Wednesday at 11 am and Friday from 10 am to 11 am are the preferred time slots.
● Search Engine Journal recommends posting on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday at 11 am, as well as Tuesday at 2 pm.

As you can see, while there is no universal best time to post on Instagram according to these studies, the suggested timeframe usually falls mid-day or closer to lunchtime during the mid-week, as it’s a great time for many to take a break from their work or studies and scroll for a bit.

However, while this information can certainly be useful, it’s better to avoid the “one size fits all” approach, since you’ll encounter various scenarios as you develop your brand on Instagram. Therefore, it’s better to look at a wider selection of times you can use to maximize your visibility.

What Is The Best Time To Post Reels And Stories?

What are the best days to post on Instagram

Here are a couple of numbers: 2.35 billion people interact with Instagram Reels every month, and 500 million people use Stories every day. So, it comes as no surprise that over the last few years, the Instagram algorithm has heavily prioritized Reels and Stories, rightfully recognizing them as some of the most engaging content types on the platform. As a result, Instagram reels were found to help increase the following of the creators and brands faster than video or static posts in the feed.

Therefore, knowing how to “hack” the reels and stories algorithm can be a huge advantage for everyone looking to grow their presence on Instagram.

Let’s look at how you can do it, and start with the reels.

As with general posting, the best time to post reels on Instagram will depend on various factors, including your location, your target audience, and their behavior. With this in mind, let’s look at some of the best posting times suggested by various platforms based on their studies.

  • According to Hootsuite, the best time to post Instagram reels is between 9 am and 12 pm from Monday to Thursday (US Pacific time).
  • Later suggested that the best time to post Reels is 4 am across local timezones.
  • For Sprout Social, the best time to post Reels is between 9 am and 1 pm, from Monday to Wednesday
  • These are some average best times to consider as you start the optimization of your Reels, and further narrow down the times best fitting your business. We’ll discuss how exactly you can do this later in the article.

Now the stories. Here, the answer can vary depending on if you have an agenda when posting or not: stories, due to their impermanent nature, are a more light and fun content type, and can be used whenever. In the case when you aren’t following a specific goal with your story, you can post it whenever it’s the most convenient for you. In the case when you need to achieve the widest possible audience with your message, according to Social Pilot, the best time to post a story is on weekdays around lunchtime, between 11 am to 2 pm. This way, it’ll go live when the largest number of people are online going through their feeds.

The Best Times to Post on Instagram by Day

The information above was the short answer to “When is the best time to post on Instagram?” Now, it’s time for the long answer, which is a more detailed look into when can you make posts to maximize your exposure, by exact days and times of the week.

By analyzing information from multiple social media management and intelligence tool, we’ve concluded some of the best times by day during the week to post on Instagram.
According to SproutSocial, based on their analysis of data from more than 34,000 customers, the best times to post on Instagram are as follows:

  • Mondays from 10 am to 12 pm
  • Tuesdays from 9 am to 1 pm
  • Wednesdays from 10 am to 1 pm
  • Fridays from 9 to 11 am

Additionally, the best days to post are reportedly Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Next up is HootSuite. The company’s analytics tools provide data on when the Instagram audience of HootSuite customers are online, using which the company identified the best times to post on the platform. Based on this data, the most optimal time to post on the platform is between 8 am – 12 am and 4 – 5 pm on weekdays for the Pacific time zone audience.

Lastly, the social media management giant Later has analyzed 11 million Instagram posts to find the best posting time to yield the highest engagement. Later has calculated the results in local time across time zones, and is based on globally calculated data, as opposed to US-only data calculated by HootSuite and SproutSocial. More specifically, the best times to post on Instagram are:

  • Mondays at 5 am
  • Tuesdays at 7 am
  • Wednesdays and Thursdays at 3 am
  • Fridays at 7 am
  • Saturdays and Sundays at 1 am

According to the findings of these various platforms, posting earlier in the day brings in the best results, as it translates to less competition and more attention, as you can benefit from the first scroll of the day.

How To Check The Best Time To Post On Instagram

All the times discussed above are a great place to start once you decide to experiment with your posting time. However, these schedules are not set in stone and are there for you to play around with to fit them to your own unique needs to get as much engagement as possible.

For that, in this section, we’ll take a look at a few tips and tricks you can implement to optimize your posting times even more. So, to find your customized best time on the basis of your unique audience, there are a few things that you can do.

  • Pay Attention to Instagram Insights
Instagram Insights

The first method you can use to get insights into the performance of your posts to determine the best posting time is Instagram Insights.
Instagram Insights is the native analytics of the Instagram mobile app, and it comes packed with critical information about your audience, including its location, age, gender, as well as the time your audience is online.

To access Instagram Insights, you need to have a business account, and all the data will then be at your fingertip. Bear in mind, however, that Instagram Insights provides data only for the past seven days, so you want to be attentive to monitor the activity.

  • Use Instagram Creator Studio

An alternative to Instagram Insights is the Instagram Creator Studio, which also can be accessed once you’ve created a business account.

As in the case of Instagram Insights, in the Creator Studio as well, you can access insights that can help you determine the best posting time for your content, as it indicates the times when your Instagram audience is online.

  • Review Your Top Performing Posts

There are some manual things you can do to further determine your best posting times, and reviewing your top-performing posts can be one.

For this strategy to be effective, first you need to determine the aim of your post. Are you looking to improve brand awareness or to improve engagement? Then take a look at the time when the posts with the highest engagement went live vs. the posts with the highest impressions. What are their main differences? What is the schedule difference?

Instagram Insights and Creator Studio can greatly help you with this, with certain timeframe limitations.

  • Look At When Your Competition Is Posting

On social media, your competition can be a valuable source of information that you can use to improve your marketing strategy, and it can work for post-scheduling too. Depending on your niche, it’s likely that your competition is doing the same calculations, and experimenting with the posting times. By monitoring their posting times, you can get insights into what was working for them. A pro tip to keep in mind is that many brands post on the hour mark, as they are typically scheduling their posts. So, you can avoid competition to some extent by posting a few minutes before or after the :00 or :30 mark.

  • Do A/B Testing

Lastly, the saying “Practice makes perfect” didn’t just come to be for nothing: it is true for many things, including for social media posting schedules. As you start experimenting with Instagram post scheduling, do not limit yourself to the times discussed above, but experiment a little to see what actually works best for you.

Start by picking out at least 5 different scheduling times per week, based on the Instagram Insights or Creator Studio data, as well as the data from the studies discussed above. For example, if your audience insights indicate that your following is active between 9 am to 11 am and from 8 pm to 10 pm, schedule your posts for the weekday at 9 am, 10 am, 11 am, 8 pm, and 10 pm. Keep the performance data for a fixed timeframe for each post (say, 2 days) in an Excel spreadsheet.

For the next week, switch the schedule, posting at the times indicated by the studies you find most reliable. Again, save the data.

After repeating the process for a few weeks, you are likely to start noticing patterns indicating that posts made at certain times have better performance.

The Worst Time To Post On Instagram

Now that you know what are the average best times to post on Instagram and how can you determine the most favorable posting schedule specifically for your brand, let’s take a look at what the worst posting times are. Why? Well, because you don’t want to spend hours or even days ideating and crafting the perfect piece of content for it to go unnoticed.

Essentially, the worst time to post on Instagram can be defined as the time when people aren’t active on the platform. This timing will depend, as in the case of the best time, on the specificities of your brand, as well as its audience demographic. For example, if your audience is US-based, the Super Bowl game wouldn’t be the best time to post.

But as with the best time, there is a way to define what some of the not-so-favorable posting times will be. To do that, we’ve dived into various studies and data, and according to our findings, the worst times to post on Instagram per day are the following:

  • Mondays from 12 am to 5 am
  • Tuesdays from12 am to 4 am
  • Wednesdays from 12 am to 3 am
  • Thursdays from 12 am to 4 am
  • Fridays from 12 am to 4 am
  • Saturdays from 12 am to 5 am
  • Sundays from 12 am to 6 am

As you can see, these are the times most people are asleep, so try to avoid making your posts then.

Weekends are in general the worst time to post on Instagram, as it’s the time people prefer to busy themselves with activities elsewhere, mostly offline.

Other unfavorable times include workdays between 5 pm to 7 pm, as this is when people are heading home from work and are unlikely to be scrolling, or if they are, they won’t be very attentive to the content they see.

Overall, Instagram users are predominantly people between 18 and 35 y.o., and your worst time to post will be the time when the majority of these people belonging to your target audience are offline for one reason or the other.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you check the best time to post on Instagram?

There are several ways you can check the best time to post on Instagram for your brand. Instagram insights and Creator Studio are a good place to start, as they showcase when has your audience been online during the past week. You can then monitor the schedules of some of your top-performing posts, as well as run an A/B testing for a few weeks to experiment with different posting times to see which schedule performs the best.

What are the best times to post on Instagram in general?

There have been quite a few studies by social media management platforms to determine what is the average best posting time on Instagram, as the posting schedule is one of the most important factors of success on Instagram. While these studies don’t give a universal “best time” to post, they generally indicate that the best time to post on your Instagram is between 4 am and 1 pm over the weekdays, as this is the time when people are scrolling Instagram most attentively.

What are the best times to post Reels and Stories?

Similar to average posting time, the best time to post stories and reels will vary depending on your audience demographics and behavior. But according to several studies by later, HootSuite, and SocialPilot, the best time to post Reels and Stories falls within the range of general posting, early in the morning or over lunchtime of the weekdays.

What are the worst times to make posts?

The worst time to post on Instagram is the time when your audience is offline. According to the data available online, these are the night times between 12 am to 6 am, and the weekends, as well as the post-work hours as people are busy elsewhere.

How often should I post on Instagram in 2023?

As long as you post quality content and it doesn’t feel spammy, there is no limit to how many posts you can make. There is no evidence that post frequency will affect negatively your performance; on the contrary, especially if you are new to the platform, try to post at least 2-3 a week. This will make sure that you remain in front of the eyes of your follow ers, and also access performance data you can analyze to improve your scheduling.


Finding the best time to post on Instagram can be a game-changer for the performance of your account, and this is not an exaggeration. By taking into account various studies, as well as accessing and monitoring the information available through Instagram Insights and Creator Studio, you can optimize your scheduling to ensure that your posts reach the maximum number of people once you post them.

As you work on your posting schedules, it’s important to remember that post regularly and consistently to see what works best for you. Plan your posts ahead, and schedule them at the pre-planned schedule to save time. Take the information above into consideration in case you aren’t sure where to begin, and you’ll be off to a great start. Good luck!