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What are Instagram Impressions?

Instagram impressions represent the total number of times your content has been displayed to users on the platform. Learn how you can increase reach.

Ben Kazinik
By Ben Kazinik

Updated April 16, 2024.


Instagram impressions represent the total number of times your content has been displayed to users on the platform. This includes every instance where your post appears in someone’s feed, their Explore page, or directly through your profile, regardless of whether the post was clicked on or interacted with in any way.

Impressions can be higher than the number of unique viewers, as a single user can view the same piece of content multiple times, with each view counted as a new impression.

For instance, if you post a striking image that users find captivating, they might view it multiple times, share it with friends, or return to it to read comments or see updates.

Each of these actions can increase the impressions count significantly, providing a gauge of how much your content circulates on the platform. This metric is crucial for understanding the visibility and reach of your posts, helping to shape future content strategies.

Impressions vs reach

The two terms that get confused the most are impressions and reach. Instagram organic reach measures the number of unique users who have seen your post, whereas impressions track how many times the post has been displayed in total. This means that if one user sees your post three times, that would count as one user reached and three impressions.

This distinction is essential for marketers as it helps differentiate between the breadth of an audience (reach) and the frequency of exposure (impressions). For example, a high number of impressions relative to reach can indicate that each individual post is engaging enough to be viewed multiple times by the same users, suggesting a loyal following or highly compelling content.

The higher the reach, the more chances you are reaching your target audience, which is super crucial for any social media platform. Want to improve your social media strategy and get more views and clicks? Hire one of our top Instagram experts.

What is an Instagram engagement rate?

The Instagram engagement rate is a critical metric that measures how actively involved your audience is with your content. It is calculated by taking the total number of interactions (likes, comments, saves, shares) a post receives and dividing it by the number of followers, then multiplying by 100 to get a percentage. This rate provides insight into how effectively your content resonates with your audience.

Source: Buffer

A high engagement rate generally indicates that your content is well-received and prompts action from viewers, which is essential for growing your presence on the platform. For example, a post that sparks conversation or is shared widely likely has a higher engagement rate and is a strong indicator of what type of content you should produce more frequently.

Source: Later

What are Instagram saved posts?

Instagram's saved posts feature allows users to bookmark posts they find interesting and wish to revisit later. This feature is particularly valuable for content that users find educational, inspiring, or otherwise significant. For social media marketers, tracking which posts are being saved can provide insights into the types of content that make a lasting impact on their audience.


When a post receives a high number of saves, it suggests that the content holds more value to the audience, possibly warranting a follow-up or a series. For instance, tutorials, recipes, or motivational content might see higher save rates, indicating these are reference materials for users.

Pro tip: don't get excited from the all the times users saved your posts. Check out the audience demographics to make sure that these are in your ICP before you add another task to your content calendar.

Instagram Stories reach explained

Instagram Stories reach refers to the number of unique users who view your stories. Unlike posts, stories are designed to be ephemeral, disappearing after 24 hours (unless you save them to your profile), which can create a sense of urgency and drive higher immediate engagement. Understanding the reach of your stories can help you gauge the effectiveness of your content in capturing real-time attention.

Taps backward

In the context of Instagram Stories, taps backward occur when a viewer taps on the left side of the screen to rewatch the previous part of your story. This action can indicate that your content was engaging or complex enough that viewers felt the need to see it again, possibly to better understand or appreciate the content presented.

Taps forward

Conversely, taps forward happen when viewers tap on the right side of the screen to skip ahead to the next part of your story. A high number of taps forward might suggest that segments of your story were not engaging or were too lengthy, prompting users to move on quickly.



Replies to Instagram Stories are direct messages sent by viewers in response to a particular story. This level of engagement is a strong indicator of how compelling or thought-provoking your content is, as it inspires viewers to initiate a conversation or express their thoughts directly to you.



Exits are noted when a user swipes down to close out of your story before it has ended, possibly indicating disinterest or dissatisfaction with the content being viewed at the time. Monitoring exit rates can be crucial for understanding at what point users lose interest and what you should to create a better piece of content next time.

Other Instagram terms explained

There are more terms you should know if you want to be successful on this social network. Here's a detailed breakdown (all of this could be found in your Instagram insights section).

Accounts reached

"Accounts reached" refers to the total number of unique Instagram accounts that have seen any of your posts or stories. This metric is crucial for understanding how many individual users you've reached with your content.


Accounts engaged

This metric reflects the number of unique accounts that have interacted with your content in any way, providing a clearer picture of how many people are not just viewing but also engaging with your posts.

Pro tip: optimize your Instagram hashtag strategy to increase this metric. Look at the hashtags that brought you the most reach and come up with new ideas.

Content interactions

This includes all actions taken on your content, such as likes, comments, shares, and saves. An increase in content interactions suggests a high level of audience engagement and interest in your brand or content.


For video content on Instagram, 'plays' represents the number of times your video content has been viewed (ie. video views). This metric is essential for understanding the reach and impact of video posts as compared to other content types, as videos may engage users differently than static images or text.

Not all of these terms should count as your key metrics, but they do work together to give you a better picture of your social media engagement and help you improve your marketing strategy moving forward.

10X your Instagram impressions

You're not going to grow your impressions and organic reach from a single post. It's going to take a comprehensive social media content strategy to grow your business profile. And that's why you need a social marketer with proven experience in your niche. Want to 10x your impressions? Talk to one of our vetted Instagram experts today!