A full investigation of the best time to post on Instagram for the most likes
I tested out all the times experts say are ‘prime’
by Gail Vivar
Posting a photo to Instagram is never a simple process. We send it down all of our group chats, filter it to the right amount of Valencia, find the right caption, and finally post it after an hour of deliberation.
But the one thing we will always avoid—posting it at the wrong time and day. So when is the best time to post to Instagram?
Apparently, the absolute best time to upload an Instagram photo is around lunch time or at 5pm on a Wednesday. Matt Smith, the founder of Later, told the Huffington Post that 5pm is the best time to post a photo on Instagram, since more people are active on social media at the end of the workday and are probably procrastinating on their phones.
Out of the 61,000 posts Later analyzed in 2015, the best days to post were either Wednesday or Thursday. However, Later’s recent poll of social media managers found that the best times to post on Instagram are during lunch time (11am-1pm) and evenings (7-9pm).
Since there’s this huge debate of what time we should actually post on Instagram for maximum results, I decided to run my own investigation
I tested out all the times Later analyzed and many other aspects that contribute to a successful post. One thing I noticed when posting photos was there were important rules to follow.
Trust me when I say that a catchy caption will work wonders with your followers and if it’s a selfie, you’re bound to gain the likes that you desire.
The times I tested were:
And so my quest for maximum likes began.
Thursday 12pm: 191 likes
I’ll be the first to admit that posting at noon is the breaking the cardinal rule of Instagram. My usual schedule usually involves rushing to class or just waking up at noon. And because I know most of my friends don’t schedule morning classes, I’ve always posted photos later at night because my followers are more likely to be energized and alive at that time.
However, it turns out the experts were right and I had nothing to worry about because I found noon to actually be the best time to post a photo.
This selfie was not only my top liked photo but I also made sure the caption was short and sweet since the human’s attention span is eight seconds and no one wants to read a long caption unless you’ve won an Oscar.
I’m letting Jesus take the wheel on this one and will be listening to the Instagram gods and posting at noon till the end of time.
Sunday 3pm: 173 likes
When posting a photo I usually think ‘Would I like this if I saw it on my feed?’ and wonder how I could I demonstrate my personality in one or two photos while not being basic.
I’ve been told my sarcasm can be too much for friends and ex-baes, which I think is total bull shit. It’s scientifically proven that sarcastic people are more creative, so my captions will always be witty and different than everyone else.
Instead of posting the basic ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ caption, I knew my followers would want a something to peak their interest.
Since I didn’t have a great photo with my mom, I decided to upload a photo of myself at four years old when my mom gave me a Dora the Explorer haircut. And it didn’t do that bad — I got 173 likes, only 18 likes less than the photo I posted Thursday at noon.
I realized people love to see you make fun of yourself. If your posts represent your personality perfectly then your followers will know that you’re not afraid to be yourself and who doesn’t love that.
Wednesday 5pm: 154 likes
According to Lifewire, the time slot to try is evenings between 5pm-7pm. Most people are either getting out of work or school so the chances of them checking their Instagram is very high.
Surprise! Only 155 likes — 36 less than my best post.
I trusted science and expected this photo to do better, but I was shook. I used a full-body photo, good lighting, perfected the filters, and ended with less likes than my other photos so far.
Just like most of guys in my life, I was disappointed with the results and shocked that a Wednesday photo wouldn’t have cracked 200 likes.
Monday 5pm: 138 likes
Lifewire says Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays have the highest engagement. However, when I posted this photo on a Monday at the supposedly prime time on Instagram, I actually got less likes than my average likes.
I wonder if it was because the quality of the photo wasn’t great compared to my other posts, but the caption was a reference to Kanye’s West infamous VMA interruption when Taylor Swift won her award so that should have made up for it.
But, I’m 100 percent certain the failure of this post is due to the several photos I posted throughout the week. People were probably tired of seeing my face.
Monday 7pm: 131 likes
Once again, I used my caption strategy to be different than everyone else, and made sure it was a head-to-toe photo. However, I noticed that selfies gain more likes than body photos,
And here I was thinking full-body pictures were the way to go.
A Georgia Institute of Technology study found that Instagram pictures with human faces are 38 percent more likely to get likes and 32 percent more likely to get comments than photos with no faces.
So, I was clearly confused to why my photo with two human faces received less likes compared to my selfie.
Friday 10pm: 154 likes
This photo gained the same amount of likes as my post on Wednesday at 5pm, which makes no sense — why weren’t people out having fun?
According to my calculations, a less-filtered post will help you gain more likes, so I went the natural route.
154 likes on a Friday night? Is this witch craft? Perhaps. All I know is that posting at a later time is still successful compared to the likes I usually receive.
From personal experience, a photo that looks like it’s semi-professional is much better than a photo from an Android (sorry Android users, team iPhone all the wayyy).
Thursday 11pm: 103 likes
This photo was actually the reason I conducted this whole investigation. One of my best friends was certain that a photo posted at 11pm on any night would gain no likes at all, so of course I had to prove her wrong.
Instead of a photo, I posted a boomerang and unfortunately my friend was right — don’t post photos at 11pm.
This turned out to be my worst Instagram post. Was it the fact it was low quality or maybe people don’t like videos? Or maybe it was the fact it was Thirsty Thursday and followers were probably at the bar or at a sweaty frat.
After weeks of posting at random times of the day and annoying my followers, I’ve concluded that we shouldn’t give a fuck of what time we post because it’s too much work to care about your opinion.
Although experts say there’s a ‘good’ time to post, I learned that there’s really no telling of what followers will like. I personally believed that my full body photos would garner more likes but my selfies were the gold mine of likes.