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The Best Time To Post On Instagram (2023)

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The Best Time To Post On Instagram (2023)

Instagram is the third most popular social channel, with 500 million daily active users and one billion monthly active users.

That’s a lot of targeted audience to tap into; naturally, there is no shortage of brands leveraging the social platform.

Like all social media channels, with those huge numbers of users, it’s easy to fall through the cracks. Just because you put effort into your posts doesn’t mean your posts will be seen.

It’s worth knowing that Instagram’s algorithms promote recent posts alongside interest and relationship, so determinng when your users are active is crucial.

Knowing when is the best time to post can be the difference between hundreds or thousands of engagements.

To find the best time to post on Instagram, we reviewed a range of data studies from social media tools and compared the data below.

It’s worth remembering that data like this is only a starting point and you should experiment to find what works for your audience.

The Best Time To Post On Instagram

Before you look at your specific audience, having an idea of general trends when Instagram users are posting is a useful starting point for you to experiment with.

We reviewed data studies from social media tools like Hootsuite, Sprout Social, HubSpot, and Later to gain insight into the best posting times.

Between them, they analyzed millions of posts to find when users are most active across different days and time zones.

What stands out is that each study and social tool shows a different day and time as the best time to post on Instagram. This highlights the importance of analyzing your niche and data to find the best times and what works for you.

Never take another study as the rule when you should post.

They are a guide only; putting in the time to experiment and analyze your data will help you get the best results.

Always be testing.

Best Time To Post On Instagram, Social Tool Data Studies Compared

Source Study Hootsuite Later Hubspot Sprout Social
Time Zone Pacific time Local time Local time Local time
Monday 12 p.m. 5 a.m. 7 – 9 p.m. 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Tuesday 9 a.m. 7 a.m. 8 – 9 p.m. 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Wednesday 11 a.m. 3 a.m. 8 – 9 p.m. 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Thursday 11 a.m. 3 a.m. 9 p.m.
Friday 2 p.m. 7 a.m. 9 p.m. 9 – 11 a.m.
Saturday 9 a.m. 1 a.m. 6 – 11 p.m.
Sunday 7 p.m. 1 a.m. 4 -9 p.m.

Sources, June 2023:

  • HubSpot reviewed 110M posts across 1M Instagram users.
  • Later analyzed over 11M posts.
  • Hootsuite analyzed over 30,000 Instagram posts.
  • Sprout Social analyzed 2B engagements across 400,000 profiles.

Best Time To Post On Instagram By Location

If you have a global audience, you should be considering and posting at the best time for their time zone and not the time where you are.

If you are working across multiple countries, you should consider staggering posting across different time zones or trying to find overlaps between countries.

Plot what time your Instagram users are most active (see below) and then adjust for local time.

Time Zone Time To Post
US Pacific Time 9 p.m. – 12 a.m.
US Central Time 10 p.m. – 12 a.m.
US Eastern Time 11 p.m. – 4 a.m.
South America 5 a.m.
UK 3 a.m. – 4 a.m.
Western Europe 4 a.m. – 6 a.m.
Eastern Europe 5 a.m. – 7 a.m.
Africa 2 a.m. – 3 a.m.
Middle East 4 a.m.
East & South East Asia 6 a.m. – 8 a.m.
Australasia 11 p.m. – 12 a.m.

Source.

Best Day To Post On Instagram

According to Hootsuite, the worst day to post is a Sunday.

Later and Sprout agree that Wednesday is one of the best days to post on Instagram.

Later thinks Monday mornings are all about “early to rise and early to post” for the best views and engagements.

Social Tool Day of Week Time To Post
Later Monday 5:00 a.m. Local
Sprout Social Tuesday &a.m.p; Wednesday 9/10 a.m. – p.m. Local
Hootsuite Wednesday 11 a.m. PT

Source – as above.

Best Times To Post Reels On Instagram?

There is no doubt that video-based content is on the rise across all online platforms, including social media. TikTok has created an increasing market for short-form videos.

Competitors’ response has been YouTube Shorts and Instagram Reels.

If you are experimenting with Instagram Reels, then according to:

  • Hootsuite, the best time to post on Instagram Reels is 9 a.m. and 12 p.m., Monday to Thursday.
  • SocialPilot, the best time to post is between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. from Monday to Thursday.

As I mentioned, this can take trial and error – and depend on your industry and target market.

What Time Are Instagram Users Most Active?

As a starting point, consider your audience and what sort of routine and habits they might have. For example, many people check their social media as soon as they wake up and before they start work.

This can vary depending on the demographic and age, but 7 – 8 a.m. (local time) is generally a good time for a morning post.

When people wake up, they often check social media, spending a couple of minutes or more scrolling through their newsfeeds or watching Instagram Reels.

So, around 7 – 8 a.m. can be a great time to post in the morning.

Another time when people are often on their phones is when they take their lunch break. Posting around 11 – 1 p.m., when people are likely to be breaking for lunch, can help ensure your post will make it closer to the top of their feed.

People also tend to scroll through social media right after work or before bed.

Don’t forget that posting times can depend on your target audience’s age, demographic, and industry.

Understanding your audience and demographic is critical as a starting point to consider what they might be doing during the day and what time they might be active in the evening.

Best Times To NOT Post On Instagram

Weekends tend to see lower engagement levels, but don’t count them out altogether. Saturday can be a decent time to post if you post at the right time.

Brands that offer consumer goods tend to see high engagement on Sunday evenings.

But the consensus has been that Sunday is generally the worst day to post on Instagram, as people are decompressing or preparing for the week ahead.

So, typically, they will spend less time scrolling through social media.

How Often Should You Post On Instagram?

That depends on a couple of factors.

First, do you have enough product images, content, and ideas to post a couple of times per day or week? The goal here is to post consistently.

On the other hand, don’t put content out there for the sake of posting regularly. Instead, spend time conducting a thoughtful customer journey-based content strategy.

That might take more time on the front end but it will help your content strategy as the weeks go on.

That way, you can spend more time managing social media and engaging with followers and less worrying about getting enough content out there.

If you don’t have an abundance of post ideas, try posting three times a week. Then you can adjust accordingly by measuring your ongoing insights.

How To Find The Best Time For You To Post On Instagram

Studies and shared data are useful as a benchmark and a starting point for you to test with your own posts.

To find the best times to post on Instagram for you, experiment and test different times to see when you get the best response.

You will most likely find that different types of posts will get different reactions at different times, and you will also want to experiment across a range of posts relevant to your audience and brand.

As we said above, think about creating a journey, aim for posting types of messages, and try to post content consistently to encourage follower expectations.

To help inform when you should be posting, you can check the following:

  • Evaluate your top-performing posts, measuring when they were posted and what you posted.
  • Check when your audience is online to know where and when your audience is online and active.
  • As an extension to when your audience is online, you must be aware of the different time zones your brand operates across and post at the times relevant to those time zones.

To measure most of the above, you can use Instagram Insights to get valuable data.

Using Instagram Insights

First, set up your account as a business or creator – that’s required to view Instagram Insights.

Once you have 100 followers, you can see your audience’s demographics: including the age, gender, and location of your followers.

Instagram Insights also gives you the ability to analyze high-performing posts.

When reviewing the data, ask yourself, what worked here? Was it a high-quality image? Was it the post time? Maybe it was the copy and hashtags? Or was it a mix of all of these?

Analyze and test. Analyze and test.

The only way to learn is to just keep experimenting with different ideas. It’s worth noting that some pieces of content just won’t perform well, while others do.

Don’t get hung up on creating something perfect. Just keep trying.

Other Social Media Tools

You can also use other tools like Brandwatch or Iconosquare to view analytics and schedule posts.

If you regularly post on Facebook, you can also use Meta Business Suite to schedule and analyze posts across both platforms in one place.

Check Competitors’ Content

Another thing you can do is check out your competitor’s content.

Look when your competitors are posting. For example, are their Tuesday 2 p.m. posts performing well, or was another time working better for them?

Analyzing the competition to see when they get the most engagement can be the best insight for a new brand when you don’t have history to measure.

Keep Testing And Be Consistent

Over time, the more content you have, the more accurate your Insights will be in analyzing your Instagram post strategy.

Then, you can change up your content strategy based on your systematic analysis.

Ultimately, you and the brand must determine what success looks like.

Maybe it’s more likes, comments, follows, or general brand awareness.

While posting times are a crucial part of overall engagement, you still need to select the right hashtags, visuals, and copy for your posts – and pay attention to promoted posts, as this can impact how you look at your Insights.

Ultimately, you must balance all these variables to grow your follower base and increase engagement consistently.

The important thing is to stay consistent. Post regularly and check back often to see how your posts are doing.

More resources:


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No Algorithmic Actions For Site Reputation Abuse Yet

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Looking up at an angle at the Google sign on the Head Office for Canada

Google’s Search Liaison, Danny Sullivan, has confirmed that the search engine hasn’t launched algorithmic actions targeting site reputation abuse.

This clarification addresses speculation within the SEO community that recent traffic drops are related to Google’s previously announced policy update.

Sullivan Says No Update Rolled Out

Lily Ray, an SEO professional, shared a screenshot on Twitter showing a significant drop in traffic for the website Groupon starting on May 6.

Ray suggested this was evidence that Google had begun rolling out algorithmic penalties for sites violating the company’s site reputation abuse policy.

However, Sullivan quickly stepped in, stating:

“We have not gone live with algorithmic actions on site reputation abuse. I well imagine when we do, we’ll be very clear about that. Publishers seeing changes and thinking it’s this — it’s not — results change all the time for all types of reasons.”

Sullivan added that when the actions are rolled out, they will only impact specific content, not entire websites.

This is an important distinction, as it suggests that even if a site has some pages manually penalized, the rest of the domain can rank normally.

Background On Google’s Site Reputation Abuse Policy

Earlier this year, Google announced a new policy to combat what it calls “site reputation abuse.”

This refers to situations where third-party content is published on authoritative domains with little oversight or involvement from the host site.

Examples include sponsored posts, advertorials, and partner content that is loosely related to or unrelated to a site’s primary purpose.

Under the new policy, Google is taking manual action against offending pages and plans to incorporate algorithmic detection.

What This Means For Publishers & SEOs

While Google hasn’t launched any algorithmic updates related to site reputation abuse, the manual actions have publishers on high alert.

Those who rely heavily on sponsored content or partner posts to drive traffic should audit their sites and remove any potential policy violations.

Sullivan’s confirmation that algorithmic changes haven’t occurred may provide temporary relief.

Additionally, his statements also serve as a reminder that significant ranking fluctuations can happen at any time due to various factors, not just specific policy rollouts.


FAQ

Will Google’s future algorithmic actions impact entire websites or specific content?

When Google eventually rolls out algorithmic actions for site reputation abuse, these actions will target specific content rather than the entire website.

This means that if certain pages are found to be in violation, only those pages will be affected, allowing other parts of the site to continue ranking normally.

What should publishers and SEOs do in light of Google’s site reputation abuse policy?

Publishers and SEO professionals should audit their sites to identify and remove any content that may violate Google’s site reputation abuse policy.

This includes sponsored posts and partner content that doesn’t align with the site’s primary purpose. Taking these steps can mitigate the risk of manual penalties from Google.

What is the context of the recent traffic drops seen in the SEO community?

Google claims the recent drops for coupon sites aren’t linked to any algorithmic actions for site reputation abuse. Traffic fluctuations can occur for various reasons and aren’t always linked to a specific algorithm update.


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WP Rocket WordPress Plugin Now Optimizes LCP Core Web Vitals Metric

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WP Rocket WordPress Plugin Now Optimizes LCP Core Web Vitals Metric

WP Rocket, the WordPress page speed performance plugin, just announced the release of a new version that will help publishers optimize for Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), an important Core Web Vitals metric.

Large Contentful Paint (LCP)

LCP is a page speed metric that’s designed to show how fast it takes for a user to perceive that the page is loaded and read to be interacted with. This metric measures the time it takes for the main content elements has fully loaded. This gives an idea of how usable a webpage is. The faster the LCP the better the user experience will be.

WP Rocket 3.16

WP Rocket is a caching plugin that helps a site perform faster. The way page caching generally works is that the website will store frequently accessed webpages and resources so that when someone visits the page the website doesn’t have to fetch the data from the database, which takes time, but instead will serve the webpage from the cache. This is super important when a website has a lot of site visitors because that can use a lot of server resources to fetch and build the same website over and over for every visitor.

The lastest version of WP Rocket (3.16) now contains Automatic LCP optimization, which means that it will optimize the on-page elements from the main content so that they are served first thereby raising the LCP scores and providing a better user experience.

Because it’s automatic there’s really nothing to fiddle around with or fine tune.

According to WP Rocket:

  • Automatic LCP Optimization: Optimizes the Largest Contentful Paint, a critical metric for website speed, automatically enhancing overall PageSpeed scores.
  • Smart Management of Above-the-Fold Images: Automatically detects and prioritizes critical above-the-fold images, loading them immediately to improve user experience and performance metrics.

All new functionalities operate seamlessly in the background, requiring no direct intervention from the user. Upon installing or upgrading to WP Rocket 3.16, these optimizations are automatically enabled, though customization options remain accessible for those who prefer manual control.”

Read the official announcement:

WP Rocket 3.16: Improving LCP and PageSpeed Score Automatically

Featured Image by Shutterstock/ICONMAN66

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Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint: A Step-By-Step Guide

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Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint: A Step-By-Step Guide

This post was sponsored by DebugBear. The opinions expressed in this article are the sponsor’s own.

Keeping your website fast is important for user experience and SEO.

The Core Web Vitals initiative by Google provides a set of metrics to help you understand the performance of your website.

The three Core Web Vitals metrics are:

This post focuses on the recently introduced INP metric and what you can do to improve it.

How Is Interaction To Next Paint Measured?

INP measures how quickly your website responds to user interactions – for example, a click on a button. More specifically, INP measures the time in milliseconds between the user input and when the browser has finished processing the interaction and is ready to display any visual updates on the page.

Your website needs to complete this process in under 200 milliseconds to get a “Good” score. Values over half a second are considered “Poor”. A poor score in a Core Web Vitals metric can negatively impact your search engine rankings.

Google collects INP data from real visitors on your website as part of the Chrome User Experience Report (CrUX). This CrUX data is what ultimately impacts rankings.

Image created by DebugBear, May 2024

How To Identify & Fix Slow INP Times

The factors causing poor Interaction to Next Paint can often be complex and hard to figure out. Follow this step-by-step guide to understand slow interactions on your website and find potential optimizations.

1. How To Identify A Page With Slow INP Times

Different pages on your website will have different Core Web Vitals scores. So you need to identify a slow page and then investigate what’s causing it to be slow.

Using Google Search Console

One easy way to check your INP scores is using the Core Web Vitals section in Google Search Console, which reports data based on the Google CrUX data we’ve discussed before.

By default, page URLs are grouped into URL groups that cover many different pages. Be careful here – not all pages might have the problem that Google is reporting. Instead, click on each URL group to see if URL-specific data is available for some pages and then focus on those.

1716368164 358 Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint A Step By Step GuideScreenshot of Google Search Console, May 2024

Using A Real-User Monitoring (RUM) Service

Google won’t report Core Web Vitals data for every page on your website, and it only provides the raw measurements without any details to help you understand and fix the issues. To get that you can use a real-user monitoring tool like DebugBear.

Real-user monitoring works by installing an analytics snippet on your website that measures how fast your website is for your visitors. Once that’s set up you’ll have access to an Interaction to Next Paint dashboard like this:

1716368164 404 Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint A Step By Step GuideScreenshot of the DebugBear Interaction to Next Paint dashboard, May 2024

You can identify pages you want to optimize in the list, hover over the URL, and click the funnel icon to look at data for that specific page only.

1716368164 975 Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint A Step By Step GuideImage created by DebugBear, May 2024

2. Figure Out What Element Interactions Are Slow

Different visitors on the same page will have different experiences. A lot of that depends on how they interact with the page: if they click on a background image there’s no risk of the page suddenly freezing, but if they click on a button that starts some heavy processing then that’s more likely. And users in that second scenario will experience much higher INP.

To help with that, RUM data provides a breakdown of what page elements users interacted with and how big the interaction delays were.

1716368164 348 Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint A Step By Step GuideScreenshot of the DebugBear INP Elements view, May 2024

The screenshot above shows different INP interactions sorted by how frequent these user interactions are. To make optimizations as easy as possible you’ll want to focus on a slow interaction that affects many users.

In DebugBear, you can click on the page element to add it to your filters and continue your investigation.

3. Identify What INP Component Contributes The Most To Slow Interactions

INP delays can be broken down into three different components:

  • Input Delay: Background code that blocks the interaction from being processed.
  • Processing Time: The time spent directly handling the interaction.
  • Presentation Delay: Displaying the visual updates to the screen.

You should focus on which INP component is the biggest contributor to the slow INP time, and ensure you keep that in mind during your investigation.

1716368164 193 Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint A Step By Step GuideScreenshot of the DebugBear INP Components, May 2024

In this scenario, Processing Time is the biggest contributor to the slow INP time for the set of pages you’re looking at, but you need to dig deeper to understand why.

High processing time indicates that there is code intercepting the user interaction and running slow performing code. If instead you saw a high input delay, that suggests that there are background tasks blocking the interaction from being processed, for example due to third-party scripts.

4. Check Which Scripts Are Contributing To Slow INP

Sometimes browsers report specific scripts that are contributing to a slow interaction. Your website likely contains both first-party and third-party scripts, both of which can contribute to slow INP times.

A RUM tool like DebugBear can collect and surface this data. The main thing you want to look at is whether you mostly see your own website code or code from third parties.

1716368164 369 Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint A Step By Step GuideScreenshot of the INP Primary Script Domain Grouping in DebugBear, May 2024

Tip: When you see a script, or source code function marked as “N/A”, this can indicate that the script comes from a different origin and has additional security restrictions that prevent RUM tools from capturing more detailed information.

This now begins to tell a story: it appears that analytics/third-party scripts are the biggest contributors to the slow INP times.

5. Identify Why Those Scripts Are Running

At this point, you now have a strong suspicion that most of the INP delay, at least on the pages and elements you’re looking at, is due to third-party scripts. But how can you tell whether those are general tracking scripts or if they actually have a role in handling the interaction?

DebugBear offers a breakdown that helps see why the code is running, called the INP Primary Script Invoker breakdown. That’s a bit of a mouthful – multiple different scripts can be involved in slowing down an interaction, and here you just see the biggest contributor. The “Invoker” is just a value that the browser reports about what caused this code to run.

1716368165 263 Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint A Step By Step GuideScreenshot of the INP Primary Script Invoker Grouping in DebugBear, May 2024

The following invoker names are examples of page-wide event handlers:

  • onclick
  • onmousedown
  • onpointerup

You can see those a lot in the screenshot above, which tells you that the analytics script is tracking clicks anywhere on the page.

In contrast, if you saw invoker names like these that would indicate event handlers for a specific element on the page:

  • .load_more.onclick
  • #logo.onclick

6. Review Specific Page Views

A lot of the data you’ve seen so far is aggregated. It’s now time to look at the individual INP events, to form a definitive conclusion about what’s causing slow INP in this example.

Real user monitoring tools like DebugBear generally offer a way to review specific user experiences. For example, you can see what browser they used, how big their screen is, and what element led to the slowest interaction.

1716368165 545 Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint A Step By Step GuideScreenshot of a Page View in DebugBear Real User Monitoring, May 2024

As mentioned before, multiple scripts can contribute to overall slow INP. The INP Scripts section shows you the scripts that were run during the INP interaction:

1716368165 981 Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint A Step By Step GuideScreenshot of the DebugBear INP script breakdown, May 2024

You can review each of these scripts in more detail to understand why they run and what’s causing them to take longer to finish.

7. Use The DevTools Profiler For More Information

Real user monitoring tools have access to a lot of data, but for performance and security reasons they can access nowhere near all the available data. That’s why it’s a good idea to also use Chrome DevTools to measure your page performance.

To debug INP in DevTools you can measure how the browser processes one of the slow interactions you’ve identified before. DevTools then shows you exactly how the browser is spending its time handling the interaction.

1716368165 526 Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint A Step By Step GuideScreenshot of a performance profile in Chrome DevTools, May 2024

How You Might Resolve This Issue

In this example, you or your development team could resolve this issue by:

  • Working with the third-party script provider to optimize their script.
  • Removing the script if it is not essential to the website, or finding an alternative provider.
  • Adjusting how your own code interacts with the script

How To Investigate High Input Delay

In the previous example most of the INP time was spent running code in response to the interaction. But often the browser is already busy running other code when a user interaction happens. When investigating the INP components you’ll then see a high input delay value.

This can happen for various reasons, for example:

  • The user interacted with the website while it was still loading.
  • A scheduled task is running on the page, for example an ongoing animation.
  • The page is loading and rendering new content.

To understand what’s happening, you can review the invoker name and the INP scripts section of individual user experiences.

1716368165 86 Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint A Step By Step GuideScreenshot of the INP Component breakdown within DebugBear, May 2024

In this screenshot, you can see that a timer is running code that coincides with the start of a user interaction.

The script can be opened to reveal the exact code that is run:

1716368165 114 Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint A Step By Step GuideScreenshot of INP script details in DebugBear, May 2024

The source code shown in the previous screenshot comes from a third-party user tracking script that is running on the page.

At this stage, you and your development team can continue with the INP workflow presented earlier in this article. For example, debugging with browser DevTools or contacting the third-party provider for support.

How To Investigate High Presentation Delay

Presentation delay tends to be more difficult to debug than input delay or processing time. Often it’s caused by browser behavior rather than a specific script. But as before, you still start by identifying a specific page and a specific interaction.

You can see an example interaction with high presentation delay here:

1716368165 665 Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint A Step By Step GuideScreenshot of the an interaction with high presentation delay, May 2024

You see that this happens when the user enters text into a form field. In this example, many visitors pasted large amounts of text that the browser had to process.

Here the fix was to delay the processing, show a “Waiting…” message to the user, and then complete the processing later on. You can see how the INP score improves from May 3:

1716368165 845 Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint A Step By Step GuideScreenshot of an Interaction to Next Paint timeline in DebugBear, May 2024

Get The Data You Need To Improve Interaction To Next Paint

Setting up real user monitoring helps you understand how users experience your website and what you can do to improve it. Try DebugBear now by signing up for a free 14-day trial.

1716368165 494 Optimizing Interaction To Next Paint A Step By Step GuideScreenshot of the DebugBear Core Web Vitals dashboard, May 2024

Google’s CrUX data is aggregated over a 28-day period, which means that it’ll take a while before you notice a regression. With real-user monitoring you can see the impact of website changes right away and get alerted automatically when there’s a big change.

DebugBear monitors lab data, CrUX data, and real user data. That way you have all the data you need to optimize your Core Web Vitals in one place.

This article has been sponsored by DebugBear, and the views presented herein represent the sponsor’s perspective.

Ready to start optimizing your website? Sign up for DebugBear and get the data you need to deliver great user experiences.


Image Credits

Featured Image: Image by Redesign.co. Used with permission.

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