Understand Instagram Analytics in 2020

Instagram has gone through many transformations over the course of the last few years. With the ever-evolving social media world, it is crucial for every worthy marketer to keep up with the pace. In order to boost your company’s Instagram presence, you need to analyze your content and find out what works best for your business.

Knowing how to interpret Instagram metrics in real time can help you find out what content performs best and adjust your marketing efforts while maximizing the undeniable potential of Instagram. The social platform offers a free tool to analyze your photos and videos – Instagram Insights, and we’re here to provide you all that you need to know about it.

How to access Instagram Insights?

We made a 30-second tutorial 😉
  1. Make sure your Instagram profile is set to public.
  2. Switch your personal Instagram account to a business profile – you will be asked to connect your account with a Facebook Page. If you don’t own any, you’ll need to set one up. Don’t worry, you don’t have to post anything there, all it needs to do is simply exist.

Instagram Insights – Content

Instagram Insights is made out of 3 cards – content, activity, and audience. The content tab is where you will find all your Instagram posts, Stories, and promotions. It’s the best place to check which of your content performs best and how your engagement rates change over time.

Feed posts

In a mood to see stats from previous weeks? Well, here you’ll find all of your posts from the last 2 years. Top posts are shown by default, but you can filter the list by the type of content, audience activity, and time period. 

Content tab - Instagram Insights

But of course, you can and you should dig deeper. By clicking on the post’s thumbnail and on “view insights”, you will access detailed statistics for every individual post. You’ll see the number of likes, comments, saves, and shares. You’ll also see what call to action people have taken from seeing a specific post, e.g. profile visits or the number of website clicks.

Instagram Insights - comments, likes, shares, bookmarks

Reach vs. Impressions – what’s the difference?

  • Reach is the total number of unique accounts who have seen your content. 
  • Impressions is the total number of times your content was displayed. One person could count as multiple impressions for only one piece of content.

Below you’ll also have the discovery section, which shows where your audience came from:

Reach vs Impressions - Instagram Insights

In the example above, more than 80% of the audience came from the hashtag browser. See our previous article on how to grow your organic reach on Instagram exponentially simply by choosing the right hashtags for your content.


The content tab is where you’ll also find stats for your Instagram Stories. Similarly to feed posts, you can filter your Stories by people’s activity and time period, although in this case you can only reach as far back as 14 days.

By clicking on a Story thumbnail and then swiping up, you’ll access detailed insights for each and every Story from the last 14 days. The only thing that will look different from posts’ insights is the discovery section. It will be broken down into navigation – the way people moved around your Story. Those who clicked forward or back exited your Story or swiped to see the next person’s Story. These indicators will help you measure your audience’s interest and engagement. For example, a lot of clicks forward or next Story swipes may suggest that your Story was not very appealing for other users. Back clicks, on the other hand, show that some people may have gotten interested in your content enough that they wanted to see it again.

Instagram Stories insights


The content tab will also give you insights on any currently running ads. Using this information, you’ll be able to assess your paid campaign results and check whether they lived up to their initial expectations.

Promotion insights - Instagram Insights

Instagram Insights – Activity

The activity tab is split into Interactions and Discovery.

Interactions are insights that measure the actions people take when they engage with your account. These can be profile visits, website clicks, emails, calls, etc.

Instagram Insights - Interactions

The chart shows interactions over the course of the last 7 days. Unfortunately, that’s as far back as you can reach with Instagram Insights. You can, however, set a completely custom time range in NapoleonCat, which offers an Instagram analytics tool – not only for your own profiles but also for those of your competitors, too. Click here to start a free trial.

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The Discovery section is broken down into reach and impressions. The reach metric is an estimate and may not be exact.

Instagram Insights - Discovery section

Instagram Insights – Audience

The audience tab pertains to user demographic data on your account. Remember that this section only analyzes your followers. You can see where they come from – it’s broken down into 5 most popular cities and countries.

You can also check your followers by the age range and their gender:

Instagram audience insights

Another important chart shows when your followers are most active on Instagram – this is very important when you wish to find the best time to post your Instagram content. The average post longevity on Instagram is around 48 hours.

Instagram Insights - Followers

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or you’re just starting your Instagram marketing adventure, it’s mandatory to know all these metrics. While Instagram Insights is a free tool, you can always expand your analytical skills by using different social media software. Check out this quick sample Instagram report that NapoleonCat can generate within seconds, which is just as much time as your free-trial signup will take:

For more Instagram knowledge, check out our other articles:

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