Best Time To Post Instagram Reels and Why It Matters


Instagram is heavily taking on its virally popular counterpart, TikTok, releasing the Reels. Fast forward and the Reels are one of the hottest trends on Instagram. Popular brands like Louis Vuitton, Sephora, and Red Bull as well as all-time sports favorites like LA Lakers were able to reach maximum engagement using Reels.

That said, you won't gain much by just randomly posting poor-quality Reels with no context. In fact, much like the Stories, loved by hundreds of influencers, Instagram Reels are only effective within the context of brand or creator, and when uploaded at the right time.

Keep along to find out the best time to post Instagram Reels and why post Reels at all. But before we get into that, let's see what Instagram Reels are and how to upload Reels on Instagram.


What Is an Instagram Reel?

When announcing a global use of Reels, Instagram emphasized that the new feature is "a new way to create and discover short, entertaining videos on Instagram".

In other words, Instagram Reels are fun, 15-second multi-clip videos to share with friends, posts to Feed, and complete strangers(when placed on the Explore page). 

Just like TikTok videos, creators experiment with audio, filters, and effects when recording Reels. Out of a few video editing options, AR effects, timer, and countdown align, audio, and speed are the most used.


How to Upload Reels on Instagram

It is not much different from creating a Story, and can easily be done in 3 steps.

  1. Log into your Instagram account, and tap the "Create" button;
  2. Choose the "Reels" option instead of "Story" or "Live";
  3. Choose a matching song to play while recording a Reel;
  4. As an alternative, you can record your own sound;
  5. If chosen the song, you will be asked to choose its part;
  6. Set the countdown and a Reel will start recording automatically;
  7. Similar to Instagram Stories, Reels allow you to record multiple clips;
  8. Experiment with video's speed (faster/slower) for more engagement.

Hold on! We are not done yet. 

The actual step 2 is to record a single video or add multiple clips from the library. 

Adding GIFs, text, or effects is optional. 

Once you have finished with all that, hit "Next" to add captions, hashtags, and/or add a thumbnail to the Reel. 


Best Time to Post Instagram Reels

Off to the most important question: when is the best time to post Instagram Reels. 

InstaViral has crawled and analyzed over two thousand Reels from Instagram influencers and businesses. 

And, here's the verdict.

The overall best time to post on Instagram is between 5 AM and 10 AM both on the weekends and during the week. This could be explained by the majority of the world population waking up and getting ready for work, commuting, and of course, checking up on Instagram trends, in-Feed content, Instagram Reels, Stories, etc.

Best Time To Post Instagram Reels and Why It Matters

With the exception of Saturday, when the Reels seem to be watched most about 11 AM, and Tuesday, which was somewhat of an anomaly. Tuesday Reel interactions saw an increase right after midnight and peaked between 2 AM and 4 AM as if the users conspired to burn the midnight oil watching Reels to continue to watch Reels only the next day.

Other than mornings, Reel viewers seem to like the after-work share of Reels too. On most days users are likely to engage with Reels between 7 PM and 11 PM.

Surprisingly though when it comes to receiving the most likes, comments, saves, or shares, the overall best day to post a Reel video is Tuesday. Participants reported the number of likes or comments to be higher than usual by at least 7%. This may (or may not) be explained by the late-night use of the feature, and viewers more willing to connect with others alike.


When Is The Best Time To Post On Instagram

Before you hit the exit button on this website, let's see how the best time to post on Instagram is different from "a window of opportunity" for Reels.

If you are expecting a big break at this point, we may disappoint you since the Reels tend to receive the most engagement when the other types of Instagram posts do.

According to multiple studies and experiments, the best time to post on Instagram is 5 AM - 6 AM, and afternoons (1 PM - 2 PM) and late evenings are the worst.

Of course, these are the standard numbers and the best time for Instagram posts may be different for your niche, region, or activity. The best way to find the right time when Instagram posts are most likely to claim attention is by analyzing post Insights through Instagram Analytics. 

If you haven't switched to an Instagram Business account, this is the right time to do so since Insights are only available for business accounts. It is easy and will not cost you a cent.

You can see the sources like Hubspot, Kiksta, or Influencer Marketing Hub also providing results on when to upload on Instagram.


Why Best Time To Post Reels Even Matter

Reel content is relatively new, and everything that is new attracts users and creators. Just like everyone would research for the "best time to upload to Instagram" in general, you want to maximize the chances of getting most of the Reels.

As we have seen above the best time to post Instagram Reels is between 5 AM and 10 AM. And now, let's count the reasons why it is important that you upload within that time frame:

  1. Instagram users are known for checking up on their Feeds before getting out of bed and running errands.
  2. Popular creators with hundreds of thousands of followers will not follow a set "best time to post" approach. Hence, new and less popular creators are likely to be viewed.
  3. Your Reels are likely to get the most likes for psychological reasons. Everyone wants to start a day feeling good, inspired, or appreciated.
  4. When the actual flow of content decreases, the Instagram algorithm is likely to favor less popular content and push your Reels further. 
  5. Not only new viewers but your profile followers (if you have any) are also likely to watch Reels while getting ready for work, enjoying breakfast, or waiting for a taxi to pick up.


Where Do The Reels Come From?

All said, published, and then, it suddenly hits you, "Where do the Reels actually come from?". Sounds like you? Roll your eyes over a few more paragraphs to learn some curious info on Instagram Reels.

  • First launched as Cenas in Brazil in November 2019, Reels surged Instagram users in Brazil by 4,34%. Enough to expand to France and Germany 6 months later.
  • In July 2020 the Reels were released in India, which instantly increased Instagram downloads by 11%.
  • By the same token, time spent on Instagram by the Indians increased by 3.5%.
  • In August, Reels debuted in the United States and 50 more countries around the world.
  • In December of the same year, the Reels were added to the features.
  • Feeding off the Reels popularity, Instagram launches Reels ads on June 17, 2021.
  • Similar to Story ads, Instagram Reels ads are full-screen vertical ads of up to 30 seconds long that appear in between regular Reel videos.

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