When is the Best Time to Post on Instagram?

I’ll be honest with you – I love Instagram.

It’s by far my favorite social media platform.

Although it doesn’t translate as well into sales for internet marketers or SEO guys trying to push their products or services it can be great and highly effective for those in a wide range of other niches.

smartphone with instagram on it

One of the more popular questions I get about using Insta is:

When is the best time to post on Instagram?

For the best engagement, likes, comments, and visibility you’re going to want to post photos at the ideal time so that your photo can get in front of the most eyeballs.

One problem here is that this is can be niche-dependent – though there is a basic guideline on the best posting time to help you take advantage of Instagram peak hours.

For example, if you’re in the parenting/childcare niche and posting photos related to that then you’re going to be OK posting throughout the day as parents, especially stay-at-home parents that are social media savvy, are likely going to be online during the day.

However, if you’re in the travel niche or something fashion related then you’re going to want to post at times when people interested in these topics are using Instagram.

Given that the peak Instagram hours are going to differ depending on the specific timezone you’re in I’m actually going to focus on Eastern Standard Time and this time-frame is going to cover a significant bulk of Insta users in North America.

The Best Times to Post on Instagram

instagram logo on a smartphone

Try to think about when you use Instagram the most.

It’s probably in the morning when you wake up or are getting ready for work, on your lunch break or when you have some free time during the day, after work or when you’ve come home to relax, and right before you head to bed.

It turns out that the actual posting data shows a similar pattern.

a chart showing the best time to post a photo on instagram
Source: www.huffingtonpost.com

The majority of people, brands, and companies are posting to Insta from between 9AM and 10PM (EST) and there’s also a noticeable increase in usage/posting after midnight until 2AM.

After 2AM and until about 8AM there are much less people awake on the East Coast so Instagram activity is going to drop.

The midnight until 2AM window also coincides with Instagram users that are waking up across Europe and are hopping on the app to upload photos and check out what new content there is.

daily mobile use chart
Source: Smart Insights

Starting in the morning is when usage will spike and one of the best times to post a photo to Instagram is going to be around 9AM to 10AM.

You should be posting more than one photo per day and you can either post your next photo around noon or wait until around 6PM to grab the next rush of people checking into the app.

Finally, right before bed, or any time after 11PM is another suitable time to post a photo and still be able to take advantage of a significant amount of people using Insta.

On the weekends and holidays you can follow a similar posting schedule, though depending on your niche you might see decreased or increased engagement overall.

Quick Recap

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The best time to post photos to Instagram are when people are most likely using the app.

These prime posting times include:

  • In the morning around 8AM to 10AM
  • Around 12PM during the week (noon lunch-hour)
  • In the early evening around 6PM (people getting home from work, relaxing, etc)
  • At night between 11PM and 2AM (people in bed browsing their phones)

Finishing Up

The best way to get your photos in font of the most people and to take advantage of the highest levels of engagement is to post your content when people are online and able to discover what you’ve posted.

Keep in mind that it also depends on your niche and audience demographic when people are going to be online and engaging with content.

Try to think of what your target demographic is going to be doing during the day and when they’re most likely to check their phones and browse through Instagram photos.

Of course, you’re still going to want to work at growing your Instagram following, engaging with people regularly, and striving to upload quality content on a regular basis – but we can get into all this on another day.

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