Instagram Insights: What Do They Mean?

Everyone’s favourite social media app Instagram has gone through many a change over the last few years. Algorithm improvements, feed changes and more updates have changed the way content is received and interacted with. One of the major introductions to Instagram has been ‘Insights’, allowing users to view analytics measuring the performance of their content, and better understand their audience. In this all-in-one guide, we’ll outline everything you need to know about Instagram Insights: how to access them, what they mean, and how you can use them to improve your Instagram strategy and your engagement rates.


  1. Setting Up Insights
  2. Instagram Insights Meaning

How To Access Instagram Insights

If you’ve already activated Instagram Insights you can skip to the next part of our guide here. If not, to access your Instagram Insights you’ll have to take the following steps:

  1. Firstly ensure your Instagram profile is set to Public
switch to Instagram public account
Switch to a public Instagram account
  • Navigate to your Instagram Profile and tap on settings in the top right corner
  • Instagram Profile
    Tap on Settings from your Instagram profile
  • Scroll down and tap on “Switch To Business Account”
  • Tap on ‘Switch To Business Account’
  • You’ll then be instructed to connect your account to a Facebook Page*
    (If you don’t have a Facebook Page you can create one during this step.)


  • Instagram business tools
    Connect a Facebook page

    In order to have an Instagram Business account, you must have a connected Facebook Page. The Facebook page doesn’t have to be branded or have any content on there, it simply has to exist.

  • Confirm all your details are correct then click ‘Done’
  • Instagram business profile
    Confirm details
  • You have now converted to a Business Profile and will have access to Instagram Insights!

    Instagram Insights will now be available to you via your profile page. So let’s move on to finding out what these Instagram Insights actually mean and how you can use them to improve your Instagram marketing strategy…

    Video Tutorial: How To Access Instagram Insights

    Clip from Everything Instagram: The Ultimate Instagram Marketing Course

    Instagram Insights Meaning

    When exploring Instagram Insights, you’ll come across many different terms, graphs and numbers which all indicate important metrics. We’ll now delve into Instagram Insights, defining the meaning of each of these figures and how you can extract valuable and practical information from them!

    To access Instagram Insights, navigate to your profile page and tap at the top where it tells you your profile visits – equally, you can tap the menu button in the top right-hand corner and find ‘Insights’ as the first option. Instagram Insights is split into the following three tabs, with each tab containing different information:


    Under the Activity tab, you’ll find two sets of Instagram insights: Interactions and Discovery. Let’s delve into each subsection and find out what each statistic means…


    In this subsection, you can see the total number of actions taken on your account in the past week, followed by a list of other metrics. Here’s what these Instagram insights mean:

    Profile Visits – The number of users that have visited your Instagram profile
    Website Clicks – The number of users who have clicked on the website link in your bio
    Email – The number of times users have tapped on Email on your profile
    Call – The number of times users have tapped on Call on your profile

    Using the graph you can see which day of the week has the most interactions, as well as a comparison of the interactions from last week. It should be noted that this section of Instagram Insights is limited to the past 7 days, however, other Instagram insights tools such as Hopper HQ’s Analytics can show you up to 28 days.

    Instagram Insights: Insights
    Instagram Insights: Insights

    Explore the data behind your Instagram account.

    Find the best time to post on Instagram

    Track your follower growth overtime

    Understand your post engagement



    The next subsection displays the overall performance and influence of your Instagram account using two key metrics: Reach & Impressions

    Reach – The number of unique accounts that have seen any of your posts
    Impressions – The total number of times that all your posts have been seen

    This week-by-week information is highly valuable, as you can compare your reach depending on certain campaigns or social activity. Tracking these metrics is important to know whether your efforts to promote your Instagram account are successful, and should be a key part of any social media marketing strategy.

    Instagram Insights: Discovery
    Instagram Insights: Discovery

    The Activity tab in Instagram Insights therefore reveals the influence of your page, as well as details of how people have interacted with it. However, it should be noted that this section of Instagram Insights is also limited to the past 7 days.


    Under the Content tab, you will find Instagram insights relating to individual posts on your profile. This includes photo and video content, Stories, and even any promotional paid posts you may have published. The Content tab is split into Feed, Stories & Promotions


    Here you’ll find all the important Instagram insights of the content on your feed from the past 2 years! You can sort your insights by content type, metric and time period. These are the Instagram insights you can filter by and what they mean:

    Calls – The number of unique accounts that followed the CTA to Call
    Comments – The number of comments on your post
    Emails – The number of unique accounts that followed the CTA to Email
    Engagement – The number of unique accounts that Liked, Commented or Saved your post
    Follows – The number of accounts that started following you because of your post
    Get Directions – The number of users who tapped Get Directions because of your post
    Impressions – The total number of times your post has been seen
    Likes – The total number of likes on your post
    Profile Visits – The number of times your profile was viewed
    Reach – The number of unique accounts that have seen your posts
    Saved – The number of unique accounts that saved your post
    Website Clicks – The number of times your website was clicked because of your post

    💡 Check out our Social Media Marketing Glossary for a full list of definitions 💡

    You can filter and order all your posts based on these Instagram insights to see which posts performed the best and worst:

    Instagram Insights: Content
    Instagram Insights: Content – Feed

    You can also delve deeper into each post to get more information. Clicking on each post then tapping ‘View Insights’ will open the in-depth analytics.

    Under this section of Instagram Insights, you can see the total interactions from each post, the breakdown of the engagement, and also most interestingly, the breakdown of the discovery of your post. This includes where all your impressions came from: be it hashtags, directly through your profile, home feed or other.

    Instagram Insights Content
    Instagram Insights: Content
    Instagram Insights Discovery
    Instagram Insights: Discovery

    The Feed section of Instagram Insights is the easiest way to see what type of content is performing best with your audience, and also track how your engagement rate varies over time! In the Discovery section, you can see if your hashtag strategy is having a positive impact on reach, an equally valuable metric in Instagram Insights!


    Stories is another subsection under the Content tab where you can view the Instagram insights of your Stories. These metrics shed light on how users view and interact with your Stories, which can help you shape and plan Story content for the future…

    Instagram Insights: Content
    Instagram Insights: Content

    The Instagram insights you can access for Stories include:

    Impressions – The number of times your Instagram Story has been seen
    Reach The number of unique accounts that viewed the post on your Instagram Story
    Exited – The number of times a user swiped away from a specific story
    Replies – The number of replies to a particular photo or video in your story
    Viewers – The specific users that have seen a particular post on your story
    Forward – The number of users that skipped this Story post
    Backwards – The number of users that went back from this Story post
    Next Story – The number of taps to the next account’s story

    Instagram Insights
    Instagram Insights: Stories
    Instagram Insights
    Instagram Insights: Stories

    Using Instagram Insights for Stories can derive conclusions on the type of content that works best. The Navigation section offers key performance indicators such as ForwardBack and Next Story you can gauge your audience’s interest in your Stories.

    For example, from a large proportion of Forward clicks, you could derive the Story wasn’t captivating enough. Equally, Back clicks would indicate the previous Story was highly relevant to your audience as they re-watched it. Next Story could imply your Story went on too long or became repetitive/uninteresting. You can also learn which Stories help promote the most follower interaction with the Replies insights! These are really enlightening metrics and can help you cater your Instagram Story marketing according to your audience preferences. 

    Check out: 11 Ridiculously Easy Ways To Use Instagram Stories For Your Business


    Also in the Content tab of Instagram Insights, you can also find the metrics relating to any promotions and paid ads you’ve published or have running on your account. You can view:

    • The number of Profile Visits from your promotional posts
    • The number of Impressions, Reach and Engagement on the post
    • The Gender, Age and Location of the audience who viewed the post

    Using these Instagram insights you can evaluate your paid promotional campaigns, and view which posts were most effective in reaching the business objectives you set. Paid ads can be something you run internally or leverage the support of an agency who often build expertise in your industry or niche such as this SaaS PPC agency. (More on objective business social media marketing strategy in our 2022 guide!)

    Plan your social media posts.

    Visually plan your posts. Drag and drop everywhere.


    The final tab in Instagram Insights is Audience. This is where you’re able to get a better understanding of who your followers are and where they live, as well as see how your follower number has varied from the previous week. 

    Instagram Insights Audience
    Instagram Insights: Audience

    Within the Audience tab of Instagram Insights, you’ll find 4 key sets of information about your followers:

    Gender – The percentage split of your followers
    Age Range – The age brackets of your followers
    Top Locations – The locations of your followers based on City and Countries
    Followers – The most active times of your followers, by hour of the day and days of the week

    Instagram Insights Audience
    Instagram Insights: Audience

    As you can see, the Audience section reveals key Instagram insights about your followers which can help build and improve your Instagram Marketing Strategy. Not only can you get a better understanding of who follows you, but you can also decipher the time in which your followers are most active, helping you better plan and schedule your Instagram posts to reach the most possible people. 

    Go the step further to find your best time to post on Instagram by connecting your business profile to Hopper HQ. We analyse your follower behaviour to tell you the best time to post for optimum engagement on your profile!

    More Instagram Insights…

    That wraps up our complete guide to Instagram Insights and what they mean! Unfortunately, one limitation of Instagram Insights is that they can only be accessed on mobile. This makes it difficult for those managing their Instagram accounts from a desktop, whether they be a social media agency, brand or influencer. Furthermore, Instagram Insights are also quite limited on how the analytics are presented – particularly for users needing report metrics to managers or clients. So it’s good to know that Instagram Insights can also be accessed using other services, including Hopper HQ Instagram Planning and Scheduling Tool.

    instagram insights
    Hopper HQ Insights Tool

    Hopper HQ Analytics even offers more in-depth metrics that those available on Instagram! You’re able to see your account performance up to the last 28 days in the form of a visual graph, as opposed to a bar chart. Your account performance can be viewed on a 7, 14 or 28-day basis, and you can specify which statistic to view across the length of term, as well as discover specific dates of peak or low performance.

    Hopper HQ has a free 14-day free trial, so if you’re looking for a more detailed desktop solution to Instagram Insights, as well as a streamlined solution to manage your content, try it out today!

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