Instagram insights demystified: How to access and analyze your metrics


Optimizing your Instagram presence doesn’t have to be a guessing game. You can find most of the answers you need within the app itself.

Anyone with an Instagram Business account can use the network’s in-app reporting feature, Instagram Insights. While it may not provide the same level of detail as an advanced Instagram analytics tool, it’s still a valuable resource for conducting on-the-fly analysis.

This guide will show you how to access and use Instagram Insights to analyze your data. We’ll also share how to use the tool in combination with an advanced social analytics solution to drive results faster.

  • What is Instagram Insights?
  • How to get access to insights on Instagram
  • How to see post insights on Instagram
    • Instagram Posts insights
    • Instagram Reels insights
    • Instagram Stories insights
    • Instagram Live insights
  • What kind of performance data is available in Instagram Insights?
  • Using Instagram Insights for performance analysis

What is Instagram Insights?

A text-based graphic that says, “What is Instagram Insights? Instagram Insights is a free Instagram Business Account feature that offers performance data on your profile and posts, providing enhanced visibility into your audience’s preferences and engagement patterns.”

Instagram Insights is a free Instagram Business Account feature that offers performance data on your profile and posts, providing enhanced visibility into your audience’s preferences and engagement patterns.

With Insights, you can measure the success of your content, including grid posts, Stories, Reels and Live videos. It’s a valuable tool for evaluating the impact and effectiveness of your Instagram marketing strategy.

How to get access to insights on Instagram

Before we get into how to use the Insights tool, let’s go over how to access them. Heads up: This is a mobile-exclusive feature, so you’ll need the app ready to go before you get started.

1. Go to your profile settings

Go to your profile, then tap the hamburger menu in the top right corner of the app. Tap Settings and then tap Account to get started.

2. Create a professional account

To set up your Instagram for Business account, tap Account type and tools under the For professionals section of the Instagram Settings page.

Two screenshots of the Instagram Settings menu, displayed side-by-side. The first screenshot is of the Settings and Privacy menu. In the screenshot, the Account Type and Tools menu item is highlighted. The second screenshot shows the Account Type and Tools menu, with the Switch to Professional Account menu item highlighted.

Tap Switch to professional account and you’re ready to go.

3. Choose your category

Instagram business categories allow brands to clearly showcase the purpose of their business above their profile description. Choose the category that best describes your business.

A screenshot of the Instagram Business account category menu. Menu items include suggested business categories: Product/service, gamer, restaurant, beauty/cosmetics/personal care, grocery store, photographer, shopping/retail, video creator.

Pro tip: The options listed under the suggested categories are just a fraction of the full catalog you can pick from. Use the search function to find the option that best suits your business, and don’t be afraid to get specific.

4. Navigate to Insights

Now that your professional account is all set up, you can access Insights from the same hamburger menu you used for your account settings.

You can only access performance metrics on content you’ve posted since converting to a business or creator account. If you recently switched to a professional account, you’ll have to wait until it has enough historical data to use the Insights tool.

How to see post insights on Instagram

Instagram offers a variety of ways to connect with your audience—grid posts, ephemeral content, short-form video, live streams, you name it.

To find out if your Instagram post ideas are resonating, check out the explainers below.

Instagram Posts insights

Go to your Instagram profile and tap a post you’d like to get metrics for. From there, tap the View Insights button below the image.

A screenshot of an Instagram post from pottery brand Sunday Mornings (@sundaymornings.shop). Sunday Mornings operates an Instagram Business account, so the post has a blue ‘View Insights’ button below the image.

Instagram Reels insights

To view insights on an Instagram Reel, go to the Reels tab of the Instagram app.

From there, select the Reel you’d like to view metrics for. On the lower right-hand side of the Reel, tap the icon. Then, tap the Insights button.

A screenshot of the menu that appears when an Instagram user clicks the kebab menu that displays next to a Reel once posted. This is how users navigate to the Insights tool for a specific Reel.

Instagram Stories insights

There are two different ways to view insights on Instagram Stories.

If the Story is live on your account, tap your profile picture. Tap through to the Story you’d like to report on. Once you’re there, swipe up on the image or video for Insights metrics.

If you’re looking for performance data on an older Story, tap the Insights action button on your profile and find the Story under Content You Shared.

A screenshot of the Stories hub in the Insights tool. The hub features tiled icons of every previous story posted since converting to a Business Account, along with filtering tools to apply specific date ranges.

Instagram Live insights

To view Instagram Live insights, go to your profile.

Tap Insights, then scroll down to the live video section in the content you’ve shared for a detailed breakdown on your Instagram Live performance.

What kind of performance data is available in Instagram Insights?

Once you navigate over to the tool, you’ll see some high-level Instagram audience insights and a gallery of recently shared content.

A screenshot of the Insights home page. The home page offers an at-a-glance view of accounts reached, accounts engaged and total followers under the Overview section.

Click into either section for a more detailed look into the following metrics:

Accounts reached

For all Instagram content aside from Reels, accounts reached is the number of unique accounts that have seen your posts on their screen at least once. For Reels, accounts reached means the number of unique accounts who have seen your Reel at least once, whether or not they watched the video.

Once a post has reached more than 100 accounts, you can access demographic data on accounts reached. This data includes top countries, cities, age ranges and a gender breakdown.

A screenshot of the Accounts Reached report in Instagram Insights. The report offers a data visualization that compares reach with followers to reach with non-followers. It also includes total impression data and a round up of top content.

Accounts engaged

Accounts engaged is the number of unique accounts that have interacted with your Instagram content through likes, saves, comments and other engagement activities. For posts, stories and Instagram Live, these metrics are drilled down into followers and non-followers.

Total followers

A screenshot of the Followers report in Insights. The report is broken down by top locations and age ranges.

Business accounts with more than 100 followers can view overall trends in growth over time. They can also access follower demographic and platform usage data, including:

  • Top locations
  • Age range
  • Times your audience is most active on Instagram


Plays is the number of plays video content received within a set time frame. That includes when a video plays automatically while a user scrolls through the app.

Using Instagram Insights for performance analysis

To take your Instagram game to the next level, you need to be making data-driven decisions. Luckily, you now have a wealth of performance data right in the palm of your hand.

Here are four ways to use your new Instagram business insights to your advantage:

Identify popular content 

With Insights, you can quickly identify the content that resonates most with your audience. All you need to do is look for patterns in what your audience finds compelling and tailor your content strategy accordingly.

For on-the-fly action items, we recommend conducting a brief start-stop-continue analysis of your Instagram performance data. This analysis evaluates the effectiveness of content and determines what actions to start, stop or continue.

A text-based graphic that says “Conducting a start-stop-continue-analysis. Start testing new tactics based on previous wins or strategic gaps. Stop initiatives that aren’t contributing to your goals for the channel. Continue work that does contribute to your goals and overall strategy.”

It’s important to note that this type of spontaneous analysis is designed to provide quick takes on your Instagram strategy’s effectiveness, such as whether people reacted positively to a particular post.

For more complex questions, like determining the best time to post on Instagram, you’ll want to use a more advanced social media management tool. For example, Sprout customers can take advantage of ViralPost® technology, which analyzes audience engagement patterns and content preferences to detect the most active times for authentic engagement.

A screenshot of the Sprout compose window, with the ViralPost drop down menu open. The menu offers four suggested times to post.

Track growth and engagement trends

A quick dip into the Insights tool is all you need to do to ensure you’re pacing well toward your monthly performance targets. If you happen to notice any inconsistencies, use Sprout’s suite of Instagram analytics reports to investigate the issue and its potential causes.

A screenshot of the Instagram Business Profiles report from Sprout Social. The report offers a performance summary, which includes the following data points: impressions, followers, following and followers gained.

Use the Instagram Business Profiles Report to identify which types of content are driving results. That way, you can make strategic adjustments to stay on track toward achieving your desired outcomes.

Make stronger paid marketing decisions

Did you know that 50% of users become more interested in a brand after seeing an ad for it on Instagram? With these types of results, making every dollar count is critical.

Use Instagram Insights to optimize your paid performance so you can make better use of your budget.

Analyze your organic content performance to identify trends, themes and creative elements that resonate with your audience. Then, leverage that data to take your paid marketing efforts to the next level.

Gauge the impacts of an algorithm shift

An Instagram algorithm update feels like a monthly occurrence at this point. Keeping up with all the changes is one thing. Understanding how they impact your social media strategy is a different beast entirely.

Next time you hear about a rumored or confirmed algorithm update, use Instagram Insights to see how your strategy is weathering through the change. If everything is going according to plan, then you’re good to go. If you notice any performance dips, it’s time to investigate further using a tool that can provide a more comprehensive analysis.

Use Instagram Insights to create a picture-perfect social strategy

Instagram’s landscape is constantly changing. Trends come and go quickly, and what’s popular today may not be tomorrow. Use Instagram Insights in combination with a tool like Sprout to stay informed and up-to-date on what works and what doesn’t.

Of course, data is only part of the story. For practical advice on building your brand identity and expanding your community on Instagram, check out this comprehensive guide to Instagram for brands. It’s packed with valuable tips to help you achieve your platform goals.

Algorithm Behavior Competitors Direct Messages Engagement Followers Growth Strategy Hashtags Impressions Journey Know Your Audience Link Clicks Moment New Initiatives Organic Growth Paid Metrics Quarterly Audits Real-Time Campaign Insights Stories Testing, Testing, Testing User-generated content Video When to Post X-Factor Your Brand Zoom Out