Understanding Instagram Insights

Social media can do so much for businesses, but without analytics how can we know what does and does not work? Which, is why I was thrilled to hear the news that Instagram are preparing to launch a series of new tools for the businesses and brands using the platform, including tools for tracking the analytics around posts, hoorah! 

Twitter and Facebook have been on the analytics bandwagon for years and despite Instagram being the fastest growing social platform, they have trailed behind. This is all sure to change in the wake of Facebook acquiring Instagram, the launch of analytics will surely be only the first step in a longer plan to make the platform infinitely more business user friendly.

Up until the last week there has been no clear indication of how these analytics will work, thankfully, thanks to a leak from one of the product’s early testers, and Tech Crunch releasing details, we can now see. 


Credit: Tech Crunch

The analytics will be known as Insights, in the same way as Facebook, and will focus on on two main areas: follower demographics and post analytics.

Follower Demographics 

The follower analytics section offers demographic details about your audience, including;

  • location

  • age

  • gender

Location information is broken down by both country and city, making local engagement much easier for smaller brands. This kind of reporting allows for a greater insight into the behaviour of followers which in turn provides a lead for content creation.

Knowing where the majority of users are based can also help businesses not only better understand what to post, but when to do it. This may be disrupted by the new algorithmic based timeline that Instagram that personalises each users feed individually, rather than relying on chronological order. 


Credit: Tech Crunch

Further to the detailed follower insights, it will also allow accounts to track new followers day to day as well as hour by hour, which can help report on the best post content and times, and in turn bring more followers to the account.

Post Analytics

It appears post analytics will focus simply on the content that is shared and how it is engaged with by tracking:

  • Impressions - total number of times your posts have been seen

  • Reach - number of unique accounts that have seen any of your posts

  • Web Clicks - track how many people click the link in your profile

  • Follower Activities - insights into most popular times of the day when your followers are using Instagram, which will help dictate posting times.

Top Posts is a separate section within Insights which allows users to see your top posts sorted by impressions for either the past week or month, rather than on a graph, it shows them as an overlaid grid, presenting thumbnails sizes images with impressions added on top. 

Credit: Tech Crunch

There is no clear launch date for the Insights launch, however it is expected to land in the next few months and will no doubt be simply the start of a move by Instagram to a more Facebook like business offering. 

While Instagram wouldn’t confirm what percentage of its user base now has the new analytics tools, it did confirm their existence. “We are testing new business tools coming to Instagram in a few months,” an Instagram spokesperson said.

I must admit for me, the launch of Insights will allow me to focus more importance on Instagram as I can report on it, I can show impressions and understand users in the same way I already do with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. 

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