Best Time to Post on Instagram in 2024 (With Heatmap) (2024)


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 it takes to come up with 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.

It'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).

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.


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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 for guaranteed success on Instagram — 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 an important factor 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

Best Time to Post on Instagram in 2024 (With Heatmap) (1)

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, audience behavior is pretty predictable, depending on the day of the week. The darkest green slots represent the time slots with the highest engagement. The light green to white blocks are the time slots with the lowest engagement.

You'll see that on weekdays, engagement suddenly picks up at 7 a.m. and peters out slightly as the day wears on and they're at work. There is a slight uptick at around midday, during lunch breaks.

Engagement picks up slightly in the early evenings. On Thursdays and Fridays, there's suddenly an engagement spike at 4 p.m. —likely when they mentally check out of work a bit earlier as the weekend nears.

Weekends are completely different. On Saturdays and Sundays, our data shows that engagement drops significantly, with some slightly more engaged times on Saturday morning and Sunday evening — though these weekend peaks are nothing close to the weekday engagement levels.


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.

At a glance: The best times to post on Instagram for each day of the week

  • 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, with 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 is 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.

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

The best time to post on Instagram on Saturday

The best times to post on Instagram on Saturday is 7 a.m., though it's worth noting that Saturday engagement pales in comparison to weekdays. Engagement is also a bit better at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.

  • ⏰ 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 scheduling 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 specific 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?

Best Time to Post on Instagram in 2024 (With Heatmap) (2)

You really can't go wrong with sharing content on Instagram on weekdays. But Monday and Friday are 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 days and times to post Reels align with the above graphs, but 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 share your videos. 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

Best Time to Post on Instagram in 2024 (With Heatmap) (3)

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.

Carousels also tend to perform slightly better than images, though the difference is not as marked as the one between Reels and everything else.

The best time for you to post on Instagram

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 these times might not align with the general guidelines above.

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

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 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.

Option 1: Instagram Insights

To get similar 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’.
  • From there, 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.

Best Time to Post on Instagram in 2024 (With Heatmap) (4)

Best Time to Post on Instagram in 2024 (With Heatmap) (5)

Best Time to Post on Instagram in 2024 (With Heatmap) (6)

Best Time to Post on Instagram in 2024 (With Heatmap) (7)

Note that you’ll need an Instagram Business account or Instagram Creator account to access these metrics.

Option 1: Buffer Analytics

Social media analytics tools like Buffer will offer deeper insights. 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 post performance and audience demographics.
Best Time to Post on Instagram in 2024 (With Heatmap) (8)
  • Click on ‘Answers’. Here, you’ll find insights on a whole lot more than the best time to post (think 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 in 2024 (With Heatmap) (9)

Your checklist for high-performing Instagram posts

While figuring out the best time to post 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 post types: Regularly trying out a new type of content 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 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 your best time to post on Instagram? Let us know @buffer on all our social media accounts!

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Best Time to Post on Instagram in 2024 (With Heatmap) (2024)


Best Time to Post on Instagram in 2024 (With Heatmap)? ›

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.

What are the best times to post on Instagram in 2024? ›

The best times to post on Instagram are weekdays generally between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., with Tuesdays and Wednesdays engagement times extending to 4 p.m. We recommend scheduling posts Tuesdays through Thursdays between 10 and and 3 p.m. for optimal engagement.

How to beat Instagram algorithm 2024? ›

7 Ways to "Beat" the Instagram Algorithm in 2024
  1. #1: Consistently Share Instagram Reels. ...
  2. #2: Encourage More Interactions with Instagram Stories Stickers. ...
  3. #3: Drive Conversations with Engaging Captions. ...
  4. #4: Add Hashtags and Keywords to Your Posts. ...
  5. #5: Ask Followers To Add You to Their Favorites Feed.
Mar 21, 2024

What is the Instagram algorithm update 2024? ›

The 2024 Instagram Explore page algorithm

The Instagram algorithm looks at the general popularity of a post, including how many people have interacted with it in a short amount of time. Notably, Instagram says, “These signals matter much more in Explore than they do in Feed or in Stories.” Your activity in Explore.

Why is Instagram's reach so low in 2024? ›

Why Is the Reach on My Instagram Feed Posts So Low? The diminishing reach of Instagram feed posts can be attributed to several factors: Feed algorithm: Instagram now prioritizes content based on user engagement and relevance rather than post time.

What are the hottest times to post on Instagram? ›

Best Times to Post on Instagram (in Your Local Time Zone)
  • Monday: 5 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m.
  • Tuesday: 9 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 5 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m.
  • Thursday: 5 a.m. to 6 a.m., 11a. m. to 1 p.m.
  • Friday: 7 a.m., 11 a.m., 2 p.m.
  • Saturday: 9 a.m.
  • Sunday: 1 a.m., 7 a.m., 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
May 22, 2024

What is the new Instagram in 2024? ›

Instagram news: January 2024

Instagram is testing a new feature called Flipside that lets users create an alternative Instagram profile that only select users can see. You'll love this update if you've ever thought, “Oops, I didn't mean to post that story!”

How does Instagram order story views in 2024? ›

Whoever views your story recently shows up first. After 50 views, things get interesting. Instagram's algorithm takes over, prioritizing the people you interact with the most. Think of it like this: the people you like, comment on, or visit often naturally show up first.

How to beat the Instagram algorithm? ›

11 Tips to Beat the Algorithm
  1. Post more often. The first solution may seem too simple and easy, but it really works. ...
  2. Create high-quality content. ...
  3. Post videos frequently. ...
  4. Keep the Stories coming. ...
  5. Mind the peak hours. ...
  6. Don't hesitate on going live. ...
  7. Write compelling captions. ...
  8. Use hashtags cleverly.

At what time is it better to post on Instagram? ›

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.

When to post on Pinterest in 2024? ›

According to the latest research, the optimal times for Pinteresting sharing are 12:00 pm, 6:00 pm, and 8.00 pm. Additionally, the best days to post are Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, with these slots revealing better outcomes in Pinterest analytics.

What are the peak hours for social media? ›

– An Overview. Overall, the best time to post on social media is during the mid-week days (Wednesday and Thursday) in the mornings (7 AM to 9 AM), early afternoons (1 PM to 3 PM), and in the evenings (7 PM to 9 PM).

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