Inside Instagram Insights: Every Term Defined and Explained

Kelsey Formost

12 Jan 2021 · 4 min read


A large part of the success of an influencer marketing campaign lies in the ability to analyze an influencer's data and ensure their content resonates with your target demographic. Even though the influencer marketing industry has matured considerably over the last decade, it can still be helpful to go back to basics.

In this article, we’re going to define each section of Instagram Insights, breaking it down into easy-to-understand terms to help you navigate your Instagram data reports and make better decisions about what content performs best. If you're a creator, this is an excellent guide to help you understand what types of metrics brands will expect you to share. If you’re a brand or work at an agency, you can use this post to help influencers who may need guidance on how to provide you with the information you need before partnering with them.

A quick tour of Instagram Insights

To access your Insights, you must have a creator or business account. Navigate to your profile, then tap on the three horizontal lines in the upper right corner (aka the “Hamburger” menu). Look for the bar chart icon and select “Insights”.

When you open Instagram Insights, you’ll see a timeframe in the upper left corner of the screen. You can choose to see your insights from the last 7 days or the last 30 days. This is important to note if a brand asks to see your insights, be sure to have the correct timeframe selected.

As you scroll down, you’ll see different categories, charts, and numbers that reflect the data and results of your Instagram posting activity. Here’s what all the different terms mean inside Instagram Insights...

Instagram Insights are organized into the following categories and tabs:

The 'Overview' Tab

We’ll begin by unpacking the “Overview” section. The Overview tab contains information pertaining to your reach, impressions, account activity, and content interactions. Let’s start with reach...


When you click on “accounts reached” under “overview” in your insights tab, you’ll be shown a page that tells you how many accounts you reached during the selected time frame. It will also show a percentage of growth or loss compared to the previous week.

This section will also break reach down by day. If you tap on any of the blue bars, you will see the exact number of accounts you reached on any given day of the week.

So, what is ‘reach’? Reach on Instagram is the number of unique users that have seen any of your Instagram posts.

An easy way to think of ‘reach’ is the number of unique people who saw your posts. In a perfect world, every single one of your followers would see every piece of content you post, however, that’s not the case. Reach helps you understand how many people actually saw the content you shared during a given time period.


Impressions are the number of times your content is displayed on Instagram, no matter if it was clicked or not. Commonly confused with reach, impressions are the total number of times your content could have been seen by the Instagram audience.

To put it simply, a piece of content must first be delivered to a feed (impressions), then a user has to interact with the platform to actually see the piece of content in their feed (reach).

Tagger Tip: If your impressions are higher than your reach, it’s a sign that your audience is viewing your content multiple times. Look for posts with a high impressions-to-reach ratio for an indicator of what’s performing well.

Account Activity

This section is pretty self-explanatory. Your account activity is organized into multiple categories, for example: Profile visits, Website taps, and email button taps.

Each statistic will display a +/ – percentage underneath the description, telling you if you had more or less activity in this area over the previous week (or month). To the right, you’ll see the total number of interactions.

Underneath these data points, you’ll see “top posts”, “top stories”, and “top IGTV” videos based on reach. By ranking your content in this way, Instagram insights gives you an understanding of what’s performing best for your profile.

Content Interations

Still under “Overview”, we’re now moving on to “content interactions”. These insights measure your Post, Story, and IGTV Video content interactions for the selected time period.

When you click on “content interactions” you’ll see the total number of interactions, as well as a +/– percentage that tells you your growth or loss compared to the previous time period.

Then your data will be broken down into Post Interactions (Likes, Comments, Saves, Shares), Story Interactions (replies, polls, etc), and IGTV Video Interactions (likes, comments, shares).

Finally, similar to what you saw in “account activity”, you’ll see your top posts, stories, and IGTV videos ranked based on the number of interactions the content received.

Your Audience

The next main section of Instagram Insights looks at your audience demographics. On the home screen, you’ll just see your total followers, but if you click “see all” you’ll get a comprehensive breakdown of your follower base.

When you explore your audience insights, you’ll see the exact number of followers you have, your growth percentage, how many follows and unfollows you received over the time period, and the net followers you gained or lost. You can also see a chart that shows your gain and loss of followers broken down by date.

Next, you’ll see some key audience demographics: location, age range, and gender. You’ll also see which days, and even which hours of the day your followers are most active on Instagram so you can plan your posts accordingly! Tap on the bar chart to see the exact number of people who are online, on average, at any given time.

Content You Shared

Last but not least, your insights tab will show you “content you shared”. Click on Posts, Stories, or IGTV to see your top-performing content ranked…

You’ll see three drop-down “carrot” menus...

And there you have it!

...A complete tour of your Instagram Insights tab. Use this information to adjust and refine your content strategy to deliver the maximum ROI for your social media posting efforts.

Want to know how Tagger can help you find the perfect creators for your influencer marketing campaigns? Schedule a demo and we'll show you how.

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