To grid or not to grid, that is the question.
To grid or not to grid, that is the question.

Image: Getty Images/Johner RF

The optimal time of day for posting to the Instagram grid is one of life’s biggest mysteries. 

Like, will my sultry selfie get more likes if I post it first thing in the morning? Or, should I wait it out and post at 5p.m.? Let’s face it, this is a very important question.

Well, Mashable spoke to an Instagram developer with the (urgently needed) answer to this burning question. And, we have answers, people. 

Product Lead Julian Gutman explained how the Instagram feed works and whether or not time is a factor when it comes to optimising our grid posts. 

Instagram uses something called “feed ranking” to determine the order of posts thats appear in your feed. To do that, it uses machine learning — “a technology that uses historical data to make predictions about the future,” per Gutman. Instagram analyses your historic usage to predict the kind of posts that are most relevant to your interests. 

So, does the time of day make any difference to your post’s visibility in your friends’ feeds?

According to Gutman, this question is actually “a common one” they hear. 

“Like, should I post it at 5 o’clock? It’s really all about your audience, when your audience is online. Everyone’s audience is very different,” he says. 

“Time is not a factor that we use in terms of ranking.”

He added that a lot of people think they should post at a certain time which then results in the feeds being flooded with posts at a certain time. 

“Then everybody posts at that time and so people are competing with each other at the exact same time,” says Gutman. 

“So, time is not a factor that we use in terms of ranking,” he added. “It’s really when your audience is on the platform. which could be very different for different accounts or countries or people.”

So, you might notice that certain times of day work better for your particular audience. But, there’s no hard and fast rule that works for everyone when it comes to optimal timing. 

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