Understand Instagram Analytics (Insights)

Understand Instagram Analytics (Insights)

Instagram has gone through many transformations over the course of the last few years1. 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 Reels – Instagram Insights, and we’re here to provide you all that you need to know about it, and more!

For your convenience, here’s a table of contents:

In-depth Post Insights for Instagram

In-depth Post Insights for Instagram

Get detailed performance statistics for your Instagram accounts. Analyze your competitors, set up automatic reports, and more – with an all-in-one social media tool.

Try NapoleonCat for free

14-day trial period. No credit card required.

How to get Instagram analytics (Insights)?

  1. In order to access Instagram Insights, make sure your Instagram profile is set to public.
  2. Switch your personal Instagram account to a business account – 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.
Here's how to switch your account to business: go to your profile page on Instagram, enter "Settings," then "Account" and scroll to the bottom. Then, click "Switch to professional account."
Instagram Insights are available for Instagram business and creator accounts only

And if you need, here’s a quick video on how to make the switch:

Instagram Insights – Overview

Once you switch to a business profile, this is where you’ll find your Instagram Insights:

Go to your account settings and tap "Insights."
Go to your profile page and tap the icon in the right upper corner to access Instagram Insights.

Overview is the main tab within Instagram Insights. You’ll be able to access the main metrics from the last 7 days or 30 days:

  • Accounts Reached (Reach tab)
  • Accounts engaged (Engagement tab)
  • Total Followers (Followers tab)
Instagram Insight's main tab: Overview.
Instagram Insight’s main tab: Overview

If you click on any one of these 3 basic metrics, you’ll be able to see some more detailed statistics that we’ll cover below.

The Overview also includes “Content You’ve Shared” where you can access statistics about your Posts, Stories, and IGTV videos.

The main Overview 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
Promotion Insights

Instagram Insights – Reach

Instagram Insights is made out of 3 main sections – reach, engagement, and audience.

The reach tab is where you will find some basic information about your content’s reach from the past 7, 14, or 30 days or a custome time range. You’ll see how many followers and non-followers you reached, what kind of content (e.g., posts, Stories, Reels) attracted people, and the number of actions people took (e.g., profile visits, external link taps) when engaging with your profile.

Instagram Insights: reach tab
The reach tab in Instagram Insights is where you’ll find basic information about your content’s reach
Track Instagram Follower Growth Over Time

Track Instagram Follower Growth Over Time

Set a completely custom time range for your Instagram analytics in NapoleonCat. Track your own profiles and your competitors, too – with an all-in-one social media tool.

Try NapoleonCat for free

14-day trial period. No credit card required.

Content reach

From the level of the reach tab, you can also see your top performing content. If you click on “See All,” you’ll find all of your posts from up to two years back.

Content reach section in Instagram Insights
You can find your best performing content in the “Content reach” section

Top posts are shown by default, but you can filter the list by the type of content, audience activity (newest, highest, lowest), and metric (accounts reached or accounts engaged). 

Filter settings in the content reach section – Instagram Insights
You can filter content in the content reach section as you please

How to see individual post insights on Instagram

But of course, you can and you should dig deeper. By clicking on a post’s thumbnail and on “View Insights”, you will access detailed statistics for every individual post.

Click "View Insights" on individual pieces of content to view post statistics
You can view post statistics by clicking “View Insights” on individual pieces of content

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 Instagram post, e.g., profile visits or the number of website clicks.

Instagram Insights on individual pieces of content
You can check the number of likes, comments, shares and saves for every individual Instagram post

Below you’ll also have the Reach section, which shows how your audience found your post:

Reach of individual posts in Instagram Insights
You can check how people have found your content

In the example above, some people came from the hashtag browser. See our previous article on how to grow your organic reach on Instagram simply by choosing the right hashtags for your content.

And in case you were wondering…

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.

Instagram Insights – Engagement

When you access the second tab, you’ll see some very basic metrics from up to 90 days back:

  • Accounts engaged
  • Engaged audience (followers/non-followers)
  • Content interactions
  • Post interactions
Engagement tab in Instagram Insights.
In the second tab of Instagram Insights, you’ll find engagement data.

Instagram Insights – Followers

The followers tab pertains to user demographic data on your account. Remember that this section only allows you to analyze your own followers

You can analyze other public accounts with NapoleonCat, but we’ll talk about that later on in the article.

Using Instagram Insights, you can check your Instagram follower growth, i.e., how many users followed and unfollowed you on a specific day within the past 90 days.

Followers growth tab in Instagram Insights

If you’d like to track your followers number over a greater period of time, you can subscribe to NapoleonCat. As soon as you do, NapoleonCat will start fetching your profile data, and you’ll be able to access data from any day since you set up your NapoleonCat account. We’ll retain your data for up to two years.

In the followers tab in Instagram Insights, you can also see where your followers come fromthe data is broken down into 5 most popular cities and countries.

Follower top locations in Instagram Insights
You can check the top five cities and countries in the followers tab

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

Followers' age and gender in Instagram Insights
Follower age range and gender in Instagram Insights

Another important chart shows when your followers are most active on Instagram – this is very important when you wish to determine the best time to post your Instagram content.

Followers' most active times on Instagram
Find out the otimal time to post on Instagram by analyzing your followers most active times with the app

Btw, the average post longevity on Instagram is around 48 hours.

Is Instagram Insights good enough for your business?

Instagram Insights is a free Instagram analytics app, it’s good for starters. However, one might argue that it lacks in-depth metrics and historical data. Let’s list some of Instagram Insights’ pros and cons:


  • Free
  • Easy access
  • Good for beginners
  • Let’s you track the results of your everyday activities


  • Most of the data is limited to only 90 days back
  • Lack of in-depth information
  • Demographics are limited to only 5 countries
  • Hard to establish a broader view of your metrics
  • Can’t analyze other profiles, only your own
  • Analysis and reporting have to be performed manually
  • Can’t access data from other social platforms

How do you make up for these lacks? The solution can be found below!

NapoleonCat’s Instagram Analytics

While Instagram Insights is a free tool, you can always expand your analytical skills by using different, more advanced Instagram analytics tools for business.

NapoleonCat’s Analytics module offers detailed analytics, and comes in really handy if you have to:

  • Access historical data (we start collecting data the day you subscribe, and then we retain it for up to two years)
  • Check worldwide demographics for every country
  • Analyze your competitors on Instagram (and other social media platforms)
  • Analyze statistics for multiple Instagram accounts side by side
  • Analyze your Instagram profile in the same dashboard where you analyze your performance across different social media platforms
  • Access more in-depth analytics
  • Generate or schedule automatic reports within seconds, both for your own profiles and competitors, too.
Instagram analytics
Instagram Analytics in NapoleonCat

NapoleonCat lets you track your progress across multiple social networks: Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Having all of those platforms in one place will save you a lot of time and effort as you won’t need to switch between platforms to check your stats.

For Instagram, you will not only be able to access analytics for your own accounts but also for any other public Instagram Business profile.

Moreover, you’ll be able to create data sets and compare stats for multiple accounts side by side:

Instagram analytics - compare stats for multiple accounts side by side in NapoleonCat
Side-by-side comparison for multiple Instagram accounts – basic summary.

Another handy function is the automated reporting that’ll keep you as well as your team, business partners, clients, and stakeholders updated about all your key metrics.

You can set a custom time frame for your report or you can also schedule weekly, monthly, or quarterly reports. These reports will then be automatically generated and sent out via email.

And of course, you can generate Instagram reports for your competitors’ profiles as well! Here’s a sample:

So, NapoleonCat gives you all the functions of Instagram Insights, and more.

Measuring your social media reach and engagement, identifying top posts and the best times to post, learning about your audience demographics, and analyzing your competitors – all of this is found in one intuitive dashboard.

A sample page from NapoleonCat social media report showcasing followers by country
Sample page from an Instagram report generated using NapoleonCat.

One of the biggest shortcomings of Instagram’s built-in analytics tool is the inability to compare yourself with your competitors.

This might be especially frustrating when they’re far ahead and you just can’t figure out what they do better in terms of social media marketing.

NapoleonCat’s competitive Instagram analytics enable you to easily peep your competitors’ strategies so it’s much easier to catch up and outrun others.

NapoleonCat also includes Instagram hashtag analytics. You can check which hashtags generated the highest engagement rates under your posts. Moreover, you can perform a quick hashtag analysis for multiple competitors’ accounts at once.

Instagram hashtag analytics in NapoleonCat
Hashtag analytics for Instagram.


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.

In-depth Instagram analytics

In-depth Instagram analytics

Measure your Instagram marketing results. Track competitors and improve performance – with an all-in-one social media tool.

Try NapoleonCat for free

14-day trial period. No credit card required.

You may also like:

  1. The Story of Instagram: The Rise of the #1 Photo-Sharing Application

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