When Is The Best Time To Post On Instagram? Does It Matter?

By Mukti Masih, March 12th 2024
5 minutes read

Determining the Best Time to Post on Instagram

Do you know the best time to post on Instagram? It’s a question that puzzles influencers, and businesses alike. Like any other social media strategy, the optimal time to post on Instagram is a complex process with no single answer. What works for one influencer or business may not work for someone else. 

Whether the goal is to acquire Instagram followers quickly or boost your reputation as a content creator, you need a publishing schedule. Here, we’ll identify what the metrics say about the posting times and the variables you should consider when determining the best time 
to post on Instagram.

Does It Matter What Time You Post on Instagram?

Yes, it does. Posting content at a particular time offers a better opportunity to connect with your target audience and ensures that targeted users see your content on their feeds. Sticking to a good publishing schedule allows you to:

The last point is crucial. Instagram constantly modifies its algorithms to improve the user experience. Algorithm updates can determine which posts show up on a user’s feed. A consistent publishing schedule accounting for algorithm updates makes people more likely to notice your posts.

When Is the Best Time to Post on Instagram?

There’s no consensus on the most effective time to post on Instagram.

To understand this, let us look at this analogy. 

Is there a best time to go to the zoo on a Sunday? Yes, the best time would be in the morning, when there are shorter queues and you have plenty of time to explore. However, the Smiths prefer noon because of the warm sunlight, while the Hofstadters prefer early evening so they can watch the sunset. 

Instagram, for businesses and influencers, may sometimes feel like a zoo. When is the best time to post on Instagram? The short answer is: when your Instagram audience is online. 

Each business has a sweet spot for posting on Instagram. That’s because of the preferences of their target customers and their type of market. 

So what is a clear answer? 

We decided to explore, analyzed the data thoroughly, read through a lot of research, and crafted a growth strategy. When it comes to the best times and days to post on Instagram, there are standard rules and specific rules to increase engagement on Instagram. 

Let’s get to the basics first. 

Why are Instagram timelines important?

Instagram timelines are real, and they do have a clear effect on the engagement of your posts. An analysis of the Instagram algorithm shows the platform prioritizes posts for its users based on the following three parameters:

  1. Previous interest: If users have shown interest in posts similar to what your business has posted earlier, your posts will appear at the top of their feeds. 
  2. Recency: Instagram ranks recent posts higher on user feeds than posts from previous days or weeks. 
  3. Follower relationship: When users follow certain accounts or have frequently interacted with some accounts in the past, such accounts or posts will rank better in their feed. 

The 'recency' part of the Instagram algorithm for business engagement becomes a major factor. Engaged users will interact with the most recent posts first because the posts will be served to them in the first hour of posting. 

So, what does this mean for your business?

This means, as a business or an influencer, you need to choose the best time to post on Instagram based on your objectives, such as likes, comments, or direct messages. 

When you post more frequently during peak times to use the recency factor, you will teach Instagram’s AI algorithms to prioritize your feeds over others. 

Let us now dive deep into the best times for your business to post on Instagram.  

According to Hootsuite, this overview shows the best time to post on Instagram daily.

Monday 11 am, 12 pm, 1 pm
Tuesday 8 am, 9 am, 10 am
Wednesday 9 am, 10 am, 11 am
Thursday 11 am, 12 pm, 1 pm
Friday 2 pm, 3 pm, 4 pm
Saturday 8 am, 9 am, 10 am
Sunday 6 pm, 7 pm, 8 pm

Let us now inquire specifically into the best times for your business or influencer account to post on Instagram, according to several other standards. 

Weekdays vs. weekends

When it comes to Instagram engagement, you need to get to the root of your follower and customer psychology. 

Psychologists Matthew Killingsworth and Daniel Gilbert from the University of Harvard found out in a study that human beings spend 47% of every waking hour ‘mind wandering’. 

When do people scroll through Instagram? When they are escaping their work, have a boring schedule, or are in between breaks in real life. And these occasions often come during the week.

On weekends, research has shown that Instagram users are out and about watching movies, partying, catching up with friends and family, or chasing a real-life vocation. 

They are most likely to engage with Instagram content during the weekdays. 

Morning or evening?

Harvard Business Review published an interesting study in 2018 that discussed the psychology of social media consumers based on their sleep-wake cycles. The study showed that human working memory varied across times of the day. When the working memory is higher, human beings seek information and are more alert. 

As a result, social media consumers are more likely to engage with informational content in the first half of the day. Their desire to engage with content will be lowest in the afternoon and moderate in the evening. 

When this principle is applied to the Instagram growth strategy, the results make more sense. 

The universal best time to post on Instagram is 11 a.m. (PST) on Wednesdays. 

Wednesday is the middle of the week, still quite morning, and it seems like the time people need a break from work, school, or chores or are intending to get Instagram updates before they start their big day. 

Businesses and influencers can make use of this information to remind their target users about their latest product launches, additional features of a service, a sale that’s happening that week, or any other useful information.

Work hours or lunch time?: The user psychology

We have already established that people go to social media platforms such as Instagram to give themselves a mental break. This gives businesses a chance to serve something worthwhile during what users consider their break times.

Here are some of the best times:

Are weekends bad for all businesses?

Certainly not for entertainment companies such as Netflix or Marvel Cinematic Universe. But even these businesses are inclined to post after 2 p.m. on Saturday and after 7 p.m. on Sunday when users want to post updates of their real-life activities on Instagram.

Note that these are just general estimates. Different sources provide different estimates based on their research that you can use. Determining the most effective time to post on Instagram is an ongoing experiment, and you must account for several variables to find the answer. 

The Best Time to Post on Instagram by Industry

Hubspot’s insights provide the best times to post on Instagram for the following five industries. 


Besides providing quality patient services, healthcare companies raise awareness about public health-related issues and educate about the need for treatment services. The best time for healthcare workers to post content would be between 6 pm and 9 pm on Saturdays.


Retail stores are no stranger to mass marketing efforts. They gear up for the holiday season by launching targeted campaigns and focusing on customer loyalty through intriguing promotions and discounts. To make the most out of their advertising strategies, the best time to post would be between 3 pm and 6 pm, preferably on Sundays.

Financial Services

Financial-related posts may not be the most appealing content on Instagram, but financial companies can still perform well on the photo-sharing platform. Research shows that the best time for these companies to post is between 9 pm and 12 am. The best day is on Sunday.


E-commerce companies inhabit the online world, so it’s no surprise that some companies promote themselves regularly on multiple social media platforms. HubSpot’s research found that the best time for e-commerce businesses to post on Instagram is between 9 pm and 12 am, just like those in the financial sector. 

The difference is that e-commerce companies perform better if they post content on Saturdays instead of Sundays.

Advertising Agencies

Advertising agencies live and breathe marketing, so they know something about determining the best times to post on social media. For maximum reach and customer engagement, the best time to post on Instagram would be between 9 am and 3 pm. 

As far as days go, marketing agencies have much flexibility. They can post on Mondays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. 

Seven Tips on Finding the Best Time to Post on Instagram

The larger objective of finding out the best times is to ultimately improve engagement on Instagram. The above knowledge based on industry is a good starting point, but ultimately you need to apply each piece of information based on your target customers. There are solutions if you want to use Instagram for your marketing goals and expand your audience pool. 

Here are seven tips to help determine the most effective time to post on Instagram.

# 1: Create Instagram buyer personas

You have probably already created user profiles or buyer personas for your customers. It is a good idea to analyze those personas in light of their Instagram habits. This will open up a whole new insight about the best times for your posts to appear on your users’ feeds. 

Some questions to ask:

Answers to the above questions will help you serve relevant content at the right time according to the majority of your customers. 

If a majority of your customers/buyers are parents, early evening may not be the best time to post as parents may be busy helping children with homework or putting them to bed. The best time for parents would be early mornings on weekdays and afternoons on weekends. 

# 2: Assess Your Competitor’s Schedule

Your competitors must do something right if they regularly connect with their target audience. Examine their posting schedule to identify a pattern to help improve your reach and engagement rates. 

Are they posting regularly on the weekends to accommodate weekday work schedules? If they post on weekdays, are they publishing content early in the morning? Whatever the pattern, follow a similar strategy to maximize your reach.

# 3 Consider Your Audience’s Time Zone

If a target audience is in a specific geographical region, use that region’s time zone when posting your content. Remember, you should publish content when most of your audience is active online. 

Posting pictures or photos at 5 pm makes no sense if the target audience is European fashion designers in a different time zone. Once you’ve nailed down the audience’s time zone, manage your posts by scheduling them days in advance. 

# 4 Adjust Your Schedule Based on Your Best Posts

Not all posts perform equally well. Some have high reach, impression, and engagement rates, while your audience rarely sees others. Identify the best-performing posts and examine anything that stands out, including when they’re released.

Is there a pattern regarding the best time for publishing content? Maybe the best-performing posts are ones you publish on the weekend, or your videos get higher engagement rates when released on Friday nights. Assess the data and see if there’s a scheduling pattern with your first-rate posts.

# 5 Use Insights and Modify Your Schedule 

Instagram insights provide compelling information about content schedules. The good news is that you can access these metrics with a business or creator account. 

Start by tapping “insights” in the top right corner, then click “total followers.” Once you do, click on the “most active options” to determine when your followers are most active on Instagram. Once you have personalized insights, create a posting schedule that works well for your marketing objectives and improves your account’s visibility.

Instagram also gives out interesting algorithms about the gender preferences of your audience, follower and non-follower data, posts and stories engagement data, link tap data, engagement percentage of your content, your top posts, etc.

Caption: Instagram Dashboard Insights: Your Sneak Peek! 

Caption: Discover Prime Moments: Clues to Your Best Times!

# 6 Focus on Content Engagement

Social media platforms are notorious for changing algorithms, but that doesn’t mean there are no patterns. A common perception is that reels perform better than posts, but according to Instagram, they are not necessarily pitted against each other. Reels, feeds, stories, and explore sections are controlled by a different algorithm. 

Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri said in a 2023 update about Instagram feeds, “People tend to look for their closest friends in Stories, use Explore to discover new content and creators, and be entertained in Reels. Mosseri lists some factors about how the algorithm chooses to give priority to some posts and not others.

What does that mean for your business?

It means that while recency is a crucial factor, content engagement should go hand in hand if you wish to build a loyal, engaged following on Instagram. 

# 7 Experiment with the Posting Schedule

Don’t limit your schedule to one day of the week or during a particular hour just because the data points you in a specific direction. Remember, determining the best time to post on Instagram is an ongoing experiment. Make several modifications to your content publishing activities and adjust based on how your audience behaves.

For instance, if impression rates drop significantly when you post on a Wednesday afternoon, go back to the drawing board and develop a more effective publishing schedule. 

A car manufacturing and selling company analyzed its Instagram insights of one month, and realized that:
- Their posts had 60% engagement on weekends between 7 and 9 pm 
- Their Instagram reels posted on weekdays between 4 and 6 pm garnered more likes, but less engagement 
- They received more clicks on their posts on weekends than on weekdays

Improve Your Instagram Presence with Superviral

Remember, figuring out the best time to post on Instagram is a work in progress. If you need to boost your account, Superviral can help. Buy Instagram likes with us if you want to supersize audience engagement rates.

Alternatively, you can purchase Instagram views to maximize your account’s visibility rates. Whatever the need, Superviral has the marketing solutions your Instagram account deserves. 

Contact our support team for more information.

Final thoughts 

Your ultimate objective behind understanding the best times to post on Instagram is to increase engagement, likes, and comments. Why? So this engagement leads to clicks on your product/service websites, and business growth. Keeping that in mind, you may tweak your Instagram growth strategy and build something unique to your business.