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When's the Best Time to Post on Instagram in 2024?

Kirsti Lang
Kirsti Lang Content Writer @ Buffer
When's the Best Time to Post on Instagram in 2024?

14 min read
You will learn


We analyzed more than 5.5 million Instagram posts sent through Buffer to pinpoint the best time, day, and post format for maximum engagement.

You will learn

  • Which days and hours are generally the best posting times.
  • The post format that gets the most engagement.
  • How to use analytics to figure out the best time to reach your specific audience.

There are many factors to consider when it comes to posting on Instagram — but the one that often feels like a make-or-break decision is what time to post your content.

It's a fair concern — the last thing you want is to spend the time and resources needed to create a showstopper piece of content only to post it in a social media dead zone that results in… crickets.

Sharing Instagram Stories, reels, feed posts, and carousels at optimal times for engagement is an important consideration in your social media strategy. If your content immediately makes it to your target audience's feed while they're around to engage with it, it's more likely to succeed.

That's why we combed through the median engagement rate of over 5.5 million Instagram posts sent through Buffer: to uncover which days and times are more likely to yield engagement (along with which post formats get the most likes, comments, and shares).

In other words, the best times to post on Instagram, backed by data.

With all that in mind, let's dig into everything you need to know about when you should be posting on Instagram — including how to figure out the best time for your audience, whether you're a marketer, creator, influencer, or casual Instagrammer.

Schedule your Instagram posts, carousels, stories, and reels with Buffer: Visually plan your content calendar and make your profile a "must-follow" with Buffer's suite of Instagram scheduling tools.

Is there a best time to post on Instagram?

Let's get this out of the way before we begin: There's no universal best time to post on Instagram for guaranteed success — if only it were that easy. However, our analysis showed us that there are certain days and times that tend to yield more engagement than others.

Before we dig into those numbers, let's discuss why engagement matters.

Each section of the app (the main Instagram feed, Stories, Instagram Reels, and the Explore page) is governed by a separate algorithm. One of the most important “signals” for the various Instagram algorithms is engagement.

Engagement — likes, comments, shares, and saves — on your content tells the app that your content is resonating with people. In turn, Instagram will show your content to more people like those who have already engaged.

This is particularly true in the public discovery pages, Explore and Reels. And getting your content in those spaces is often a fast track to Instagram growth.

So, while Instagram timing, or post recency, is not as crucial as it once was (R.I.P. chronological feed), it's still important to consider when developing your social media marketing strategy and determining when to post content.

Ready to dig into the numbers?

The best times to post on Instagram

Graph showing the best time to post on Instagram

The best time to post on Instagram is generally between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. on weekdays. After analyzing more than 5 million Instagram posts, we found that posts shared at these times tended to get the most engagement.

This is likely because Instagram users wake up and check their phones before starting their day or scroll through the app while on their morning commute.

As you'll see from the heatmap graph above, Instagram audience behavior is pretty predictable, depending on the day of the week. The darkest green slots represent the time slots with the highest engagement — indicating the best time to post on Instagram.

The light green to white blocks are the time slots with the lowest engagement, showing the times that are best avoided.

On weekdays, the best time to post on Instagram is early in the morning, when engagement suddenly picks up at 7 a.m. It peters out slightly as the day wears on while Instagram users are likely at work. There is a slight uptick in engagement around midday, during lunch breaks, which makes this a good time to post on Instagram, too.

Engagement picks up slightly in the early evenings. On Thursdays and Fridays, there's suddenly an engagement spike at 4 p.m. — likely when Instagram users mentally check out of work a bit earlier as the weekend nears — making this a great time to post to add to your social media calendar.

Weekends are completely different. Our data shows that engagement drops significantly on Saturdays and Sundays, with some slightly more engaged times on Saturday morning and Sunday evening — though these weekend peaks are nothing close to the weekday engagement levels. The best time to post on Instagram on weekends is 7 a.m. on Saturday mornings and 7 p.m. on Sunday evenings.

No timezone troubles: To make this data easier to understand, our data scientist Bufferoo has done some mathematical magic to make the recommended time zones universally applicable. In other words, no need to convert. Whether you're in EST (Eastern Standard Time), PST (Pacific Standard Time), or IST (Indian Standard Time), the times apply to you.

The best time to post on Instagram at a glance

  • Monday: 7 a.m.
  • Tuesday: 7 a.m.
  • Wednesday: 7 a.m.
  • Thursday: 7 a.m.
  • Friday: 4 p.m.
  • Saturday: 7 a.m.
  • Sunday: 7 p.m.

The best time to post on Instagram on Monday

The best time to post on Instagram on Mondays is in the morning when most users wake up between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m., with two more (albeit smaller) peaks at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.

  • ⏰ Peak Instagram engagement time on Monday: 7 a.m.

The best time to post on Instagram on Tuesday

The best time to post on Instagram on Tuesday is in the early mornings — our analysis showed an engagement hotspot at 7 a.m. There is another (slightly lower) engagement peak in the early evening at 6 p.m.

  • ⏰ Peak Instagram engagement time on Tuesday: 7 a.m.

The best time to post on Instagram on Wednesday

The best time to post on Instagram on Wednesday follows a similar pattern. There is a solid peak time from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m., with no real engagement spikes later in the day.

  • ⏰ Peak Instagram engagement time on Wednesday: 7 a.m.

The best time to post on Instagram on Thursday

The best times to post on Instagram on Thursdays are 7 a.m., 8 a.m., and 4 p.m., according to Buffer data. These posting times tended to see more engagement than those posted during other times of the day.

  • ⏰ Peak Instagram engagement time on Thursday: 7 a.m.

The best time to post on Instagram on Friday

The best times to post on Instagram on Friday are at 4 p.m. or between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. However, the numbers show that there are slightly more high-engagement time slots than on the other days of the week. Friday is the best day to post on Instagram.

  • ⏰ Peak Instagram engagement time on Friday: 4 p.m.

The best time to post on Instagram on Saturday

The best time to post on Instagram on Saturday is 7 a.m., though it's worth noting that Saturday engagement pales in comparison to weekdays. That said, engagement on an Instagram post shared between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday tends to be better.

  • ⏰ Peak Instagram engagement time on Saturday: 7 a.m.

The best time to post on Instagram on Sunday

The best times to post on Instagram on Sunday are in the evening, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday is also a quiet time on the app, with Instagram users indulging in slower mornings.

  • ⏰ Peak Instagram engagement time on Sunday: 7 p.m.

This is where social media management tools like Buffer really shine. Experiment by systematically going through the times on the list above, scheduling a post, and tracking its performance to see what works best for your target audience.

Just as there’s no one-size-fits-all best time to post, there’s no single best time to post across all social platforms, either. Here’s the best time to post on TikTok, the best time to post on Facebook, and the best time to post on LinkedIn.

What is the best day of the week to post on Instagram?

Graph showing the best day to post on Instagram

You really can't go wrong with sharing content on Instagram on weekdays. But Monday and Friday are the best days to post on Instagram — an inch about the rest of the week for engagement times.

Comparatively, the worst time of the week to post on Instagram is on a weekend. Saturday and Sunday are the worst days to post, with engagement significantly lower than the rest of the week.

What is the best time to post Reels on Instagram?

The best time to post reels is between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. on weekdays, which aligns with all the graphs above. In our analysis, we reviewed all Instagram posts, rather than segmenting by post type (but we're working on it, so watch this space!).

That said, it's also worth considering that people treat different segments of the Instagram app a little differently.

An update on the algorithm by Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri offers some interesting insight on this front: “People tend to look for their closest friends in Stories, use Explore to discover new content and creators, and be entertained in reels.”

It stands to reason, then, that people are looking to be entertained at certain times of day, and catch up with friends, family, and their favorite creators at other times.

If you're looking for a slight boost in reels engagement, we recommend testing out the peak evening times to post reels. Your followers will have slightly more time to scroll and enjoy your content before bedtime than they would in the peak morning slots when they need to rush off to work.

The best type of content on Instagram

This might not surprise you — the most engaging content on Instagram is video. Our data revealed that videos perform a head and shoulders above carousels and photo posts.

Reels are an excellent way to gain followers on the platform — even Instagram says so. “The most effective way to grow on Instagram is to consistently create engaging reels, as reels are the best way to reach new audiences,” head of Instagram Creator Partnerships at Meta, Carly Lynn, said in a video.

That's not to say other content types don't have an impact. Carousels tend to perform slightly better than images, though the difference is not as marked as the one between reels and everything else.

How to find the best time to post on Instagram for you

While all of the above time frames can be useful in helping you put together a posting schedule as you're just starting out, take it all with a pinch of salt.

There are better ways to figure out when your audience is online and engaging — and your personal best time to post on Instagram might not align with the general guidelines above.

Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits-all for the best time to post on Instagram. Your peak engagement time will likely differ from someone else's.

For example, my personal Instagram audience's activity level is pretty steady on work days and on the weekends. They're less likely to be online during work hours, and engagement usually peaks in the early evening. They're slightly more active on Wednesday, with activity peaking at 6 p.m. in my time zone (SAST).

For Buffer's Instagram following, things look a little different. “We've found that posting between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. PST on weekdays works well for us, though Mondays at 7 p.m. PST are our best engagement time,” says Social Media Manager Mitra Mehvar. For ease of comparison, those times are 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. EST, and 10 p.m. EST.

“In general, I've found that weekends have had a lower engagement for us so I usually don't post on Saturday and Sunday,” she adds.

Buffer Analytics

A social media management tool like Buffer can be really helpful in pinpointing the best times for your posts. If you're a Buffer user, our analytics offer even deeper insights into the best times to post on Instagram. To find yours:

  • Head over to in your desktop browser and make sure you're logged into your Buffer account.
  • Click on Instagram on the left side of your screen. There's a host of important data to dig into here, including Instagram post performance and audience demographics.
best time to post on Instagram
  • Click on Answers. Here, you'll find insights on a whole lot more than the best time to post on Instagram (like which post types are the best for you, or how often you should be posting) but the best time to post is the second box from the top.

Here are some of the answers for our Instagram account in Buffer:

best time to post on instagram.png

Instagram Insights

Instagram Insights, the native analytics tool for the social media platform, can be helpful in pinpointing some good times to post on Instagram.

To get stats for your own audience via the Instagram analytics baked into the app, head over to Instagram Insights on the mobile app:

  • Go to your Instagram profile and click on the hamburger menu (the three horizontal lines) on the top right of your screen.
  • Tap on Insights.
  • Click on Total followers.
  • Scroll down to the bottom of this page and look for Most active times. You'll be able to toggle between hours for every day of the week or look at specific days.

You can also access Instagram Insights via the web version of Instagram. To find yours:

  • Log into
  • Click on your profile photo on the bottom left of the window to navigate to your Instagram account.
  • Click on the View insights link underneath your Instagram bio.
  • Scroll down to Followers to see your audience's most active times.

Note that you'll need to make sure your account is a Business Instagram account or a Creator account to access Instagram Insights.

The best time to post on Instagram FAQs

Here are some commonly asked questions when it comes to the best time to schedule your Instagram posts.

Does the time you post on Instagram matter?

Our data shows that the time you post on Instagram does matter. Analyzing more than 5 million Instagram posts showed that content posted at specific times had higher engagement rates.

That said, a high-engagement posting time is not going to be enough to save a low-quality Instagram post. Sharing your Instagram Reels, photos, and stories at these optimal posting times should be the cherry on top of your Instagram strategy rather than its foundation.

For guidance on how to improve your Instagram account and content, head over to the section: Your Checklist for High-performing Instagram Posts.

When is it best not to post on Instagram?

When it comes to when not to post on Instagram, common sense rules apply. When is your target audience not online? The most obvious answer is overnight. Our analysis supports this — any Instagram posts shared between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. tended to get the least engagement. Engagement on posts drops off significantly during these times, no matter what day of the week it is.

According to our data, Instagram posts shared on the weekends tended to have lower engagement rates too, though there are some good times to post on Saturday and Sunday. Scroll up to The best times to post on Instagram for more.

Is it better to post early or late on Instagram?

On most days, early mornings between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. tend to be good times to post on Instagram. Some later slots, like 6 p.m. on Tuesday and 4 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, also saw good engagement metrics.

What is the best time to post on Instagram today?

As a rule of thumb, if it is a weekday, the best time to post on Instagram is usually 7 a.m., except on Fridays, when the best time to post is 4 p.m. On weekends, the best time to post is 7 a.m. on Saturday and 7 p.m. on Sunday. For more details, scroll up to the cheatsheet section above: The Best Time to Post on Instagram at a Glance.

When is the best time to post on Instagram in my country or timezone?

Many of the guides you'll find to the best times to post will be in U.S. time zones, like Eastern Time (EST) or Pacific Time (PST), which can be super confusing when it comes to figuring out your best time to post on Instagram.

But if you're based outside these zones (hello from South Africa!), all of the data above is still applicable to you. The Buffer data scientists have crunched the numbers to be universally applicable. So if the best time to post on Instagram on Friday is 4 p.m., that's 4 p.m. in your time zone — whether you're based in California or Calcutta.

How often should I post on Instagram?

Social media post frequency is important — regularly showing up on the platform is often a powerful way to gain traction. According to the Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, sharing one to two Instagram Stories daily and a couple of in-feed posts (reels, carousels, or photos) weekly should be enough for consistent engagement.

Stories, in particular, which disappear after 24 hours, offer a helpful, lightweight way to stay consistent on the platform. Post an Instagram Story at least daily to stay top-of-mind for your followers.

I know that's not super specific, but that's because every target audience is different. Perhaps your target audience is office workers who regularly check the app during their lunch break or students who log on late at night.

It's worth experimenting with your posting schedule to see what cadence, along with time to post, works best for your Instagram audience. Buffer can help here, too: with enough data, our analytics tools crunch the numbers for you to recommend the best posting frequency for you (and adapt as that changes). Scroll up to The best time for you to post on Instagram section to learn how.

Your checklist for high-performing Instagram posts

While figuring out the best time to post on Instagram for maximum engagement is an important part of your Instagram marketing strategy, it's not the be-all and end-all.

As we unpack in our guide to the Instagram algorithm(s) there are a huge number of factors to take into account if you want your content to perform well. Here's our checklist for high-performing Instagram content:

  1. Make the most of Instagram's new features: As with the launch of Instagram Stories and reels, the platform loves showcasing its new features. Using them could mean getting your content in front of new audiences.
  2. Experiment with content types: Regularly trying out a new type of content when you post on Instagram will help you figure out what resonates the most with your audience. Plus, it's a great way to repurpose your content.
  3. Don't neglect your caption: According to a fascinating report by HubSpot, captions that performed the best were either very long (over 2,000 characters) or very short (less than 20). Using emojis in captions was also shown to boost engagement.
  4. Use hashtags: Studies show that posts with hashtags receive higher engagement than those without. Buffer's Hashtag Manager will make adding your favorite ones to your caption or comments a breeze.
  5. Prioritize authentic engagement: Rather than wasting time and resources on Instagram algorithm hacks, focus on fostering meaningful engagement with your followers. That means replying to comments and messages, resharing their mentions of you, and even interacting with them on their own content.
  6. Analyze to see what's working: Use Instagram Insights to see which of your posts have had the most engagement. Buffer's analytics will also help you uncover your best posts (those with the highest engagement) in just a few clicks.

What have you found most helpful when determining the best time to post on Instagram for you? Let us know @buffer on all our social media accounts!

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