What Do Instagram Insights Really Mean?

In a recent blog, we explained Facebook Insights metrics. Now, we’re going to tackle one of the newer features of Instagram business accounts: Insights. You might notice right away that both Facebook and Instagram’s analytics systems are named “Insights,” and that’s not a coincidence. Facebook bought Instagram in 2012, but marketers are only starting to benefit from it now. However, with the recent fire Facebook has been fielding over the discovery that they’ve been misreporting a specific video metric for two years, marketers should be warned. If the metrics may have been inflated on Facebook, then what’s to stop them from misreporting the same data in another app they own?

Breakdown of Instagram Insights Metrics:

The way users interact with different social media platforms dictates what’s important for reporting. Instagram’s simplistic user-friendly interface limits what data can and should be recorded, but that also makes things easier for marketers to keep track of.


The Instagram app defines Impressions as, “The total number of times your post has been seen.” Now, with Twitter, for instance, “Impressions” means the total number of times your post is available to be seen. It doesn’t mean your post has actually been seen. Plainly, it means the total number of times your post has been put into a user’s feed, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that they were using the app at that time or used the app long enough to scroll past it (without taking action).


The Instagram app defines Reach as “The number of unique accounts that have seen your post.” Again, it’s a semantical argument, but the “reach” on Instagram is the potential for your post to be seen by a certain number of people. It’s also difficult to truly calculate a post’s reach due to hashtags.


The Instagram app defines Engagement as the, “Number of likes and comments on your post.” Engagement is straightforward. We won’t argue with them here.

To Improve Your Social Media Marketing Strategy, Contact Us!