Is using Instagram Reels a major part of your content strategy? Wondering how to better analyze your Instagram reels’ performance?
In this article, you’ll learn where to find Instagram Reels Insights and how to tell what’s working so you can refine your strategy.
What Do Instagram Reels Insights Include?
Instagram Reels is the newest content format on Instagram—and some of the highest-performing content, too. Reels are on-trend, easy to watch, and get a ton of engagement.
But despite their casual vibe, reels take time and effort to create, which means you can’t afford to play this by ear. You need to understand what your followers like, what they dislike, and why. You need data so you can focus on what works.
What data can you actually access?
Sadly, Instagram won’t give you the fine-grained data such as which objects or camera angles work best—even though the platform has almost certainly processed this information through its algorithm. You’ll have to figure that out by regular posting and testing.
We do know from Instagram’s own reporting that reels featuring people are more successful, and that low-resolution content is less successful. The platform also suppresses videos that carry watermarks or logos from other social networks.
But within those limitations, Instagram Reels Insights still have lots of useful data. You can…
- Compare individual reels based on their performance, including all posts in the last 2 years.
- Check the reach and engagement rate of individual reels.
- Compare the performance of reels to other content formats on Instagram.
How to View Instagram Reels Insights
There are several different ways to access Instagram Reels Insights. However, all of these options are within the app. Even if you’re used to managing your profile through Facebook Business Suite or Creator Studio, those tools won’t help you here.
- Business Suite only shows insights for feed posts and ads.
- Creator Studio only shows insights for feed posts (including video), carousels, stories, and IGTV.
- Instagram for desktop doesn’t show any insights at all, except the number of likes on each post.
So for all of the tips and advice that follow, you’ll be working in the Instagram mobile app.
#1: Use Instagram Reels Insights to See an Overview of Reels’ Performance
The first way to check your Instagram Reels Insights is by looking at all of your posts together. Instagram gives you an overview of all of your feed posts, stories, reels, IGTV videos, live videos, and promoted posts.
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It also shows insights into your reach, interactions, and audience from the past week to up to 90 days ago.
To access this set of insights, tap the three-line menu on your profile page and then tap Insights.
Alternately, you can access it from the Insights button on your profile or by tapping View Professional Dashboard and then selecting See All Insights.
If you want to know how people have interacted with your reels, tap Content Interactions.
You’ll see a figure for your total interactions, which is then broken down into individual types of interactions. Note that this screen only shows interaction types if you have any data for them so if you haven’t had any comments in the last 7 days (for example), then “Comments” won’t show up on this screen.
The overall interactions figure is helpful because you can use it to calculate your engagement rate. To do this, divide the number of interactions by your follower count and then multiply that number by 100.
When you’ve got everything you need from this screen, you can tap back out.
Next, scroll down in Insights Overview to the Content You Shared section. Once again, this lists out all of the content types on Instagram, with Reels in prime position. (Is Instagram trying to tell us something about its priorities?)
Tap into Reels to see your posts laid out. You can view all of your reels from up to 2 years ago.
Each reel will have a small number outlined on it. Depending on which filter you’ve chosen, this number will refer to the number of comments, likes, saves, reach, plays, or total interactions with each reel.
By default, it’s set to show the number of plays. You can switch to whichever metric is most meaningful for you. If you want to calculate the engagement rate for individual posts, then switch to the Interactions view and use those figures. Remember the formula: number of interactions divided by number of followers multiplied by 100.
The reels are usually shown in descending order of plays (or whatever metric you’ve chosen to focus on). But you can tap Sort by Newest at the bottom of the screen to show them in date order.
This set of insights is really helpful if you want to get a quick look at which content types are working for you. Look at the stories laid out on the screen: can you spot a common theme among your most popular posts? Or your least popular ones?
#2: View Instagram Reels Insights for Individual Reels’ Performance
Your second option is to check Instagram Insights for individual reels. To do this, tap on a reel to view it. Then tap the three dots icon in the lower right-hand corner, which leads to the Settings menu.
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Choose View Insights from the list of options.
Your view of this screen may be limited depending on your location. If you’re based in the UK, EU, or Japan, then Instagram won’t show you some insights related to private messages. This is because of regional privacy laws.
Even if you’re outside those regions, you may still only see partial messaging insights. If you have followers based in the UK, EU, or Japan, then the privacy laws apply to their behavior on the app as well.
However, wherever you’re based, you’ll see two categories of insights on this screen. Discovery includes the accounts reached and number of plays of this specific reel. Interactions includes the likes, comments, shares, and saves of this specific reel.
This set of Insights is useful because it’s permanent. While the Insights Overview screen can only show information from up to 2 years ago, the insights for individual reels will always be available—however old they are.
This is a quick and easy way to check in on an individual reel’s performance. For example, you could drop in and see how well a post is performing in its first 24 hours.
So now you know how to get data about your Instagram reels. But what do you do with it? All of that information about plays and interactions is meaningless unless you have a plan for it. So here are a few steps to get you started…
#3: Learn About Your Instagram Reach and Audience Demographics
Reels Insights are useful but they don’t tell you the whole story. Instagram offers a range of other insights about your audience and their social media habits. As soon as you reach a minimum of 100 followers, you’ll have access to information about their gender makeup, likely age, and most active times on the platform.
Instagram also gives you information about your overall reach on the platform. This is useful because it tells you how many people you’re reaching, beyond your follower count. The ideal is to have a reach that’s bigger than your audience, with a steady rate of conversion from viewers to followers.
From Insights Overview, tap into Accounts Reached. This page compares your follower count to non-follower reach and shows how much of your reach comes from each post type.
What percentage of your reach comes from Reels? Can you spot any patterns? For example, perhaps you reach a lot of people through Reels but don’t get many new followers. That’s a clue about how you should develop your Reels posting strategy.
If you scroll down on the Accounts Reached page, you’ll also see data about your number of impressions and profile visits. This information is useful, too.
Use the number of impressions to see if people are rewatching your content. If the number of impressions is bigger than the number of accounts reached, then people are coming back to your content. And if the number of profile visits is larger than the number of new followers, that could be a sign that your profile page needs optimizing.
#4: Spot Trends in Your Instagram Reels Content
As we’ve already seen, you can use the Reels section of Overall Insights to rank your reels by different metrics. You can order them based on the number of plays, interactions, and so on.
But you don’t want to leave everything to Instagram’s automatic tools. It’s time for some human analysis.
Look back through your reels and think about the content of each successful post. What’s working for you? What isn’t? Think about camera angles, color palettes, audio choices, and special effects.
Remember to judge posts by their success, not your own tastes and preferences. I personally don’t understand why that weird transplanted mouth effect is big in Reels right now but it’s definitely doing numbers.
If you’re still short on ideas, the Instagram @creators account does a weekly roundup of popular memes and trends.
#5: Drill Down on Engagement Metrics That Relate to Your Goal
What do you want to achieve on Instagram?
As social media managers, we must always bear in mind that there’s a bigger goal: growing the business. Every post and interaction on the platform should support that overall goal in some way.
For example, this reel fulfills a clear business purpose: showing new products to customers in hopes of making a sale.
It’s worth pausing to look at how people interact with your content. If your strategy is to grow the business through brand awareness, then lots of likes and impressions are good news. But if you’re trying to make more direct sales conversions through the platform, then comments and profile visits are more important signals.
When you look through your reels in Overall Insights, filter them by the metric that matters most to you. Focus on creating content that gets the response you want. There’s no point getting 1 million impressions if what you really wanted was 20 new email subscribers.
Track Engagement Rate Over Time
Here’s one very annoying fact about Instagram Reels Insights: You can’t export your insights from the app.
You can export insights about stories and feed posts via Facebook Creator Studio or Business Suite. But because those tools don’t include Reels data, you can’t download any data about Reels.
If you want to track your Reels performance over a long period of time, you’ll need to keep your own records. It’s probably not worth noting down every single interaction on every single reel. But I would recommend regularly calculating your Reels engagement rate.
You can do this for every individual reel, as we saw above. Or you can calculate an average Reels engagement rate—once a week or once a month, for example.
The goal is to see trends over time. Is your engagement consistent? Does it drop at certain times of year? How does it compare to your engagement rate for other types of posts on Instagram?
At first glance, it might seem like Instagram Reels Insights are limited. But if you spend time playing with the parameters and mix the data up with other sources, you can get a lot of valuable information from the social network. And every drop of data helps power your social media strategy.
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