Determining the Ideal Posting Time on Instagram

Here you will learn how to determine the best time for your posts in order to reach your target audience and gain more followers.

GIF: Posting Zeiten
Table of contents
  1. Why is the choice of posting time on Instagram important?
  2. Instagram algorithm and posting time: What you absolutely need to keep in mind
  3. Maximizing engagement on Instagram: The optimal posting time for photos, reels and stories
  4. Effective strategies for determining the optimal posting times for your target audience on Instagram
  5. Step-by-step guide: Conducting A/B tests to determine the ideal time for Instagram posts
  6. Instagram Insights and external social media tools
  7. The most important tips for beginners
  8. The optimal posting time on Instagram: A summarizing overview

In the world of social media marketing, the right timing strategy plays a decisive role, as it can strongly influence views, reactions and your overall visibility. From using Instagram's built-in analytics tools to applying external tools: There are many ways to determine when you should ideally broadcast your posts. Here you will learn how to determine the best time for your posts to reach your target audience and gain more followers.

Why is the choice of posting time on Instagram important?

First of all, the choice of the right timezone for posting stories, posts and reels is, of course, about maximizing visibility: Choosing the optimal posting time can help ensure that your posts are published exactly when your target audience is really online and active. This increases the likelihood that your content will be seen by more users. Accordingly, the interaction rate increases, meaning you get more likes, comments and shares and, as a result, a larger overall reach. Continuous interactions on your posts signal to the Instagram algorithm that they are likely relevant and appealing. Consequently, future posts will be ranked higher in your follower's feeds.

But back to the right timing: The best time to post on Instagram can vary depending on the target audience, location, industry and other factors. There are some tools and analysis options that can help you determine the best times for your target audience, such as Instagram's Insights feature or external applications.

For starters, it can also be helpful to do some experimenting and track the reactions to your posts at different times. It is very likely that you will reach fewer interactions at times when many people are involved in their work routine. However, based on experience, the competition from other creators is somewhat smaller at these times and you have a higher chance of standing out in your follower's feed.

Instagram algorithm and posting time: What you absolutely need to keep in mind

Instagram does not publicly disclose all details of its algorithm, but the ranking of posts is essentially based on the following factors:

  1. Relevance and user behavior: The algorithm takes into account the relationship between follower and creator. Posts that followers interact with frequently are more likely to appear higher up in their feed. This is further individualized to prioritize showing users exactly the content that is most likely to be relevant to them.
  2. Posting time: Although the exact way the posting time influences the algorithm is not explicitly known, posting at the right time can help to ensure that your post is seen by more users, leading to more interactions. This can signal to the algorithm that your post is relevant and up-to-date. So there is at least an indirect connection.

The Instagram algorithm is continuously optimized, so factors that influence the ranking can certainly change or at least receive a different weighting. For this reason, you should always track your posts, keep an eye on user engagement and the development of your reach. This way you have good chances in the long term to appear at the right time in your followers' feed and to be prioritized by the algorithm.

Maximizing engagement on Instagram: The optimal posting time for photos, reels and stories

Different types of Instagram posts such as photos, reels and stories may have different optimal posting times, as they have different half-lives and user behavior as well as reactions to these contents vary.

  1. Photos: Traditional photos or classic posts often have a longer half-life than other content formats on Instagram, so they can be posted at different times during the day to reach a wider audience. Recommended here are the time slots between 9:00 am and 11:00 am as well as between 7:00 pm and 10:00 pm, as these are typically times when many users are active on Instagram.
  2. Reels: Reels are short, entertaining videos that can attract great attention even after a long time, similar to TikTok. Because reels tend to spread comparatively fast and tend to gain popularity in a short period of time, they can be posted both at the typical user-friendly times, i.e. outside regular working hours (in the evening hours or on weekends) and also with some delay.
  3. Stories: Stories have a shorter lifespan than regular feed posts as they disappear from your profile after 24 hours. Here it is especially important to pay attention to when you post your content. Popular times for stories are typically the morning hours, weekdays during lunch break, late afternoon and in the evening. Especially loyal followers usually know the time span in which stories are visible. Accordingly, they are usually motivated themselves to catch your stories in time.

Be sure to use Instagram's insights and analyses to get a more accurate impression of your followers' behavior and to recognize patterns in their activities. In this way you can better determine which are the best time zones for posting your photos, reels or stories to achieve the largest reach and as many interactions as possible.

Effective strategies for determining the optimal posting times for your target audience on Instagram

In addition to your own analyzing and experimenting with posting times, there are other ways to keep an eye on your followers' interactions.

Instagram Insights and external analytics tools

With a business or creator account, you can use Instagram Insights. This feature provides detailed insights into the user behavior of your followers, including information on when they are most active. Go to your profile, tap on "Insights" and then on "Audience" to get more accurate data. If you don't want to use Instagram Insights or don't have a business account, you can also rely on external tools. Hootsuite, Sprout Social, or Buffer offer you features for analyzing user behavior and determining the optimal posting times for your target audience.

Regional Factors

When you choose the posting time, consider the time zone of your main target group. If you are on vacation on the other side of the world, you should take into account the time difference. Especially if you want to go live sometime.

Industry specific trends

Especially for the business sector, you should keep an eye on industry specific trends. For example, fashion or lifestyle content may perform better at different times than B2B content or mindset and coaching topics.

As you can see, there is no universally applicable time when your content is sure to reach many users. The success of posts depends more on various factors, such as the post type itself. The geographical and demographic characteristics of your target audience and their activity habits and other individual preferences also play a major role here. Use the combination of data from Insights, external tools and your own analyses to get a rough overview and a tendency for suitable times.

Step-by-step guide: Conducting A/B tests to determine the ideal time for Instagram posts

Performing A/B tests to determine the best posting time on Instagram requires a structured approach. Here are a few tips that will help you:

  1. Identify the test groups: Divide your followers into different groups. Choose two or more time windows in which you want to post your contributions and make sure that these times are clearly different from each other, e.g., morning versus evening or weekdays versus weekends.
  2. Define clear goals: Set very clear goals that you want to achieve with the A/B test. For example, do you want to increase the engagement rate (likes, comments, shares) or maximize the reach of your posts?
  3. Plan the exact test period: Determine a set timeframe for the test. It is important that you plan enough time for the results to actually be meaningful. A test period of at least one week to a month can certainly be appropriate to collect enough data.
  4. Create identical content and post it at different times: In order to get meaningful results, the content for each test should be exactly identical. Use the same images, videos and texts so that you can isolate and assess the impact of the time change. Make sure that you evenly distribute the posts to balance out influences of different times of day or days of the week.
  5. Analyze the results: Use, for example, Instagram Insights to track the performance of your posts. Here you will find metrics like the engagement rate, reach and impressions. This way, you can ideally compare the performance of the posts that you posted at different times.
  6. Draw conclusions and adjust your posting times: Based on the data collected from the test period, you can draw conclusions about which posting times have achieved the best results. Identify the time slots that have achieved the highest engagement or the largest reach. The results of the A/B test can also help you in the future to optimize your posting times. So always keep them in mind.

A/B tests require patience and continuous observation in order to gain accurate and meaningful insights. Through repeated testing and adjusting, you can optimize your posting times on Instagram and achieve a larger reach and higher engagement for your content.

Instagram Insights and external social media tools

If you want to track your posts via Instagram Insights, here is a little overview of the most important functions.

Go to your Instagram profile and tap the "Insights" button. This option is only available for business and creator accounts. Scroll down and select the "Audience" section. Here you will find all information about your followers. Important for you at this point is above all knowledge about when your followers are most active. Instagram gives you information about which days and at what times the activities are highest. You will be shown diagrams or graphs which represent the activity patterns. Once you have analyzed the usual peak times, you can also test these again by uploading your posts accordingly.

Usually you will find that this actually leads to more engagement, a higher reach or other positive results. You can also use the Insights to observe whether or how the results improve.

Besides Instagram's own tool Insights, there are some other social media tools, that help you with the analysis of user behavior. Some of these also have scheduling functions that allow you to create posts in advance and have them automatically published at the best times. Here is an overview of the currently most popular applications.


Hootsuite not only offers you functions for analyzing social media data. It also allows you to plan your content based on the determined optimal times.

Sprout Social:

Sprout Social is a comprehensive social media management tool that also provides analytics features to track the performance of your posts. You see here the activity times of your followers and get suggestions for the optimal posting time.


Another scheduling and analysis tool for social media posts is Buffer. Here too you will find analyses about the engagement of your content and based on user behavior suggestions for time windows in which you should ideally bring your posts online.


Later is a tool that not only enables the scheduling of Instagram posts, but also provides insights about the best times to post. It analyzes the engagement of your followers and recommends optimal time windows.


Iconosquare provides you with detailed analytics for Instagram, including insights into the activity of your followers and the best posting times based on the data obtained.


Tailwind is known for its functions for scheduling and analyzing Instagram and Pinterest content. It provides insights as well into user behavior and suggests optimal time windows for your posts. According to their own statement, more than 700,000 brands worldwide use Tailwind.

As you can see, nowadays there are numerous tools, that allow you to plan, create and post contributions at the right time. So you're not necessarily bound to using Instagram's own insight function. Take a close look at which application fits best with you and your desires.

The most important tips for beginners

Since it's not always quite easy to get a foot in the boundless social media world nowadays, we'd like to give you a few more tangible tips here that you can orient yourself well on, at least in the beginning.

For starters and as long as you are still operating below 1,000 followers, consistency and engagement are particularly important. Two posts per day should be achievable on average, so that you also continuously build up a meaningful profile. This also enables you to obtain a very good data base, through which you can determine when which posts are well received and when they are less well received. As the number of followers increases, the number of your posts should also increase. Until you have built up about 250,000 followers, Instagram recommends an average of three posts per day or at least daily uploading of content.

Generally, the weekdays from Monday to Friday are more suitable for posts, as most users go through their social media channels before or after work and during lunch breaks. Especially Saturday is considered less recommendable, on Sundays, however, you can again achieve good results. On Mondays you should shine with fresh content and as positive thoughts as possible. Take your followers with you through the week and show interesting experiences or share deeper thoughts at the weekend, for example about particularly emotional or successful moments of the last days.

The optimal posting time on Instagram: A summarizing overview

You can find out which time is the best for posting your posts on Instagram by tracking the activity behavior of your target group and followers. Therefore, there is no universally valid recommendation. Since the Instagram algorithm changes from time to time, different factors can always be decisive. What you can definitely do, however, to at least find a most reliable tendency, is to use different tools and/ or perform A/B tests.

Always consider aspects such as the time zone in which your target audience is located, demographic characteristics and individual activity habits. Especially in the business environment, posting at the usual working hours can make sense, while niche topics often score better at the weekend or outside the typical working day. Always stay flexible, do some testing and keep an eye on current developments and social media trends. This way, you should quickly develop a sense for what comes off well when.

Alexandra Irrgang
Alexandra Irrgang

Alexandra Irrgang ist bei der eology GmbH als Outreach-Managerin in der Online-PR tätig. Ihre Aufgabe und Leidenschaft ist es, hochwertige und vor allem nutzerorientierte Fachartikel, Blogbeiträge und Pressemitteilungen für spannende Kund*innen online zu bringen.

Ursprünglich aus der Bildungswissenschaft stammend, vereint sie hier ihre Passion für Bildungsthemen und das Schreiben mit einem kundenorientierten und strategischen Vorgehen sowie großem Spaß daran, Lösungen und kreative Möglichkeiten zu finden, um Unternehmen im Internet noch sichtbarer werden zu lassen.

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