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Understanding Instagram Insights - impressions, reach and engagement

gramreports-Understanding Instagram Insights - impressions, reach and engagement

Having all the data in the world is worthless if you don't understand what it means and how it can be used.

All of your Instagram posts (whether it be a video post, a carousel or even a story) are constantly collecting data on how people are interacting with your Instagram media. 

So here, I'm going to list out the metrics that Instagram stores for a short period of time. 

You may have seen terms like Engagement, Impressions and Reach in your Instagram insights but not known exactly what they mean. This quick guide will clear that up.

Photo and Video Metrics

If you're posting a normal photo or a video to your timeline, these are the five metrics you can access:


This is the total number of actual likes and comments on your post.


How many times did your post actually get seen?


How many unique accounts saw your post.


Bit more self-explanatory - how many unique accounts saved your post.

Video Views

Obviously for video posts only - this is how many times the video has been seen.

Carousel Posts

Carousel posts are those which contain a series of photos or videos. You might not have realised, but Facebook's insights actually treats carousel posts a bit differently to standalone posts. These are the insights that are tracked for carousel posts. 

Album Engagement

Similar to single post engagement, but across the entire album. So how many likes and comments did the album get in total.

Album Impressions

Again, this is how many times any post in the album has been seen. 

Album Reach

How many people did the carousel album reach.

Album Saved

Unique accounts that saved the carousel album.

Instagram Story Metrics

Instagram Story metrics are measured a little bit differently. They are also nortorously hard to measure. But ask anyone running a successful profile and stories will surely be one of the key drivers of success in the last year. So it's important to understand the below metrics.

One important distinction - story refers to each individual post in the story. So if you posted to your story ten times in one 24 hour period, each of those 10 posts will have it's own set of these metrics.


This is the number of times people exited the story on this post. Keeping an eye on this can help you see where people are dropping off and what kind of posts tend to be less engaging vs keeping people tapping through. 


This is the total number of times that the story has been seen.


This measures how many unique accounts have seen the story.


How many people sent you a message on Instagram via this story post.

Taps Forward

You can actually see how many people tapped through to see the next photo or video. This gives you a sense of which content is engaging vs people just tapping on your story throughout the day.

Taps Back

Alternatively, you can also see how many clicked back on this particular story. 

So that's all the insight data that Instagram provides us for posts, carousels and stories. 

There's lots more data that can be gathered and analysed to help you understand your audience better, but understanding these key metrics is a good start to recognising if you're trending upwards, or if your content can be improved.

Using this data you can answer questions like:

  • Which type of content is doing better and should be repeated?
  • Which content is getting seen a lot but not receiving actual engagement
  • Where people are engaged with your stories vs dropping off


If you want to keep this information for longer then 7 days (or 24 hours in the case of stories) try a free trial of Gramreports

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