Instagram’s social ecosystem is fraught with a multitude of elements, and it’s certainly not easy to navigate these technicalities without a little help.
Just take a look at how many post types are on Instagram:
- Single photo posts
- Carousel photo posts
- Video posts
- Live videos
- News feed posts
It’s quite the challenge in trying to understand which works best but you’re in luck.
In this guide, I’ll give you actionable data about the popularity of different post types on Instagram and help you make an informed decision.
Without further ado, let’s start!
Average User Reach per Post Type on Instagram 2021-2022
Back in September 2022, Statista released a study that shows the average user reach (user interaction) with the three main post types:
- Image posts
- Carousel posts
- Video posts
Here’s the chart, first:
|Year||Image Posts||Carousel Posts||Video Posts|
|2021||2,706 Users Reached||2,350 Users Reached||1,489 Users Reached|
|2022||1,850 Users Reached||2,325 Users Reached||1,323 Users Reached|
As you can see, there’s a trend forming for all three post types:
- Image Posts suffered a decline of 31.63% in user reach from 2021 to 2022
- Carousel Posts suffered a decline of 1% in user reach from 2021 to 2022
- Video Posts suffered a decline of 11.14% in user reach from 2021 to 2022
As of 2022, it seems that Carousel Posts have the highest user reach among the three main post types on Instagram. It’s peculiar that Image Posts suffered such a large decline in a single year.
It seems that moving images are more engaging than static images, eh? Even more so if there are multiple videos in a single post.
But what about reels? They have to be pretty popular, right? Well, in the next section, I’ll show you their average reach as of June 2022.
Average Reach of Instagram Reels by Number of Followers in June 2022
With Statista’s study at my back, I’ll show you how popular reels are on Instagram based on the number of followers for each account.
Cue the chart:
|Post Type||Accounts with Up to 500 Followers||Accounts with 500-2k Followers||Accounts with 2k-10k Followers||Accounts with 10k-50k Followers||Accounts with 50k-45m Followers|
|Regular Posts Reach||77%||27%||22%||21%||19%|
Firstly, there’s no doubt that reels are more popular than regular posts. Just look at accounts with up to 500 followers. Reel posts have a reach of 892% while regular posts are only at 77%.
That’s a difference of 1058.44% in terms of reach between regular posts and reel posts. Even when you look at bigger accounts, reel posts are still much more popular by comparison.
What this tells me is that, if you’re growing your channel and you need a quick boost, reel posts are the way to go. Regular posts are more useful for keeping you afloat and being consistent with your posting schedule.
While we’re at it, I’ll show you the average engagement rate on Instagram reels vs. posts by the type of interactions (likes, comments, and saves). Check out the next section!
Average Engagement Rate for Instagram Reels by Interaction Type in June 2022
To truly understand how popular Instagram reels are, we should look at how people interact with them. Do they like, comment or save reels more?
Let’s see the chart:
|Type of Interaction||Reels||Posts|
It seems that, on average, Reels receive 42.46% more likes than posts, while posts receive 66.66% more comments than reels. Finally, reels receive 408.51% more saves than posts.
Generally, it’s best to stick with reels because they get the highest share of likes and saves. Comments aren’t really that important unless your channel relies on that type of user engagement.
Reels are exceptionally powerful for new Instagram accounts that don’t have as many followers. The stats are showing that they’re getting the biggest share of reel engagement out of all accounts.
Let’s move on to the next section and see what type of content Instagram users prefer!
Worldwide Instagram User Preference for Types of Content in February 2022
This piece of data can single-handedly put your Instagram account on the map by focusing on the right type of content to publish.
Let’s not waste any more time and see the data:
|Type of Content||User Preference|
Based on the chart, 51% of all responders (5,747 responders in total) said they prefer seeing funny content on Instagram, followed by creative and informative posts.
As always, social media is mostly used to get a laugh or two and relax. But that’s not to say that other types of content are not popular.
Informative content is the third most popular content on Instagram, so if you were thinking about starting such a channel, go ahead with it!
In fact, what this chart shows you is not necessarily which content is good or bad to start a channel for.
Rather, it shows you how easy it will be to scale based on user preference. But with enough work, almost any channel can be taken to the peak of success.
Average User Interactions by Post Format in 2021-2022
Which post type is getting the most user interactions on Instagram? Whether it’s likes, comments, shares, or saves, there is a content type that excels at all.
Take a look at the chart below:
|Year||Image Posts||Carousel Posts||Video Posts|
|2021||215 User Interactions||232 Average User Interactions||94 Average User Interactions|
|2022||215 User Interactions||234 Average User Interactions||94 Average User Interactions|
Again, Carousel Posts appear to be more popular through the share of user interactions they get. However, image posts aren’t too far.
Video posts are much less popular compared to both image and carousel posts, it seems. Moreover, they haven’t changed in popularity between 2021 and 2022 either.
In fact, only carousel posts appear to have changed in this timeframe, with 2022 recording, on average, 2 more user interactions compared to 2021.
At this point, if there’s anything else you should get from this article, it’s that carousel posts are among the most popular form of content on Instagram.
If we compare this chart with our initial chart, which showed the average reach of different content types, we see that:
- Image posts reach more users, on average
- Carousel posts engage more users, on average
Both post types are good, just in different ways. Depending on the type of content you’re posting, you may use one or the other. Or both, ideally.
By using both, you’re setting yourself up for more engagement with your followers. Some will like image posts, others will engage more with carousel posts.
Overall, you’re doing the best of both worlds and taking your channel to the top.
In the next section, I’ll show you the average reach per published content based on the number of followers of the account. That should be quite interesting, so keep reading!
Average Reach of Published Instagram Content by Number of Followers in June 2022
What reach do you think a piece of content will have if it was published by an account with 0-500 followers, 500-2,000 followers, 2,000-10,000 followers, and so on?
Moreover, what’s the post with the highest reach based on the account’s number of followers? That’s what we’ll find out in this next chart:
|Number of Followers||Reels||Posts||Stories|
|0 – 500 Followers||1,200 Users Reached||96 Users Reached||43 Users Reached|
|500 – 2,000 Followers||1,600 Users Reached||292 Users Reached||114 Users Reached|
|2,000 – 10,000 Followers||3,400 Users Reached||964 Users Reached||244 Users Reached|
|10,000 – 50,000 Followers||16,800 Users Reached||4,400 Users Reached||698 Users Reached|
|50,000 – 45 million Followers||95,600 Users Reached||41,000 Users Reached||6,700 Users Reached|
Judging on the chart above, here are several conclusions we can draw:
- There’s an ascending trend of user reach based on the number of followers of the account, which makes sense
- Accounts with over 10,000 followers see a disproportional growth in user reach compared to accounts with fewer followers
To make you understand just how much more reach accounts with over 10,000 followers have, I’ll give you some percentages:
- There’s a 349.11% increase in user reach for Reel posts from accounts with 2k-10k followers to accounts with 10k-50k followers
- There’s a 356.43% increase in user reach for regular posts from accounts with 2k-10k followers to accounts with 10k-50k followers
- There’s a 469.04% increase in user reach for Reel posts from accounts with 10k-50k followers to accounts with 50k-45 million followers
- There’s an 831.81% increase in user reach for regular posts from accounts with 10k-50k followers to accounts with 50k-45 million followers
- There’s an 859.88% increase in user reach for story posts from accounts with 10k-50k followers to accounts with 50k-45 million followers
As you can see, there are astounding increases in user reach from a certain point onward. The 10k-50k follower stage seems to be the breaking point where posts get more user reach.
This means that things will get better over time. If your channel is good enough to get to 10k-50k followers, then things are only going to get better from that point on.
Here are the main highlights from this guide:
- Carousel posts offer the highest overall reach on Instagram, but image posts have a wider reach than carousel posts
- Instagram Reels are vastly more popular than regular posts
- Reels also have a much higher engagement rate than regular posts in terms of likes and saves
- Regular posts usually receive more comments than reels
- On average, Instagram users prefer funny, creative, and informative content (in that order)
- Accounts with more than 10,000 followers experience a massive increase in user reach, revealing a potential milestone in growth on Instagram
What you choose to do with this information is up to you. My job is to present and interpret the facts as impartially as possible.
I hope this guide will help you focus your view on Instagram’s best elements and avoid the inefficient ones. See you on the next one!
- Statista – Average User Reach per Post Type on Instagram in 2021 and 2022
- Statista – Average Reach of Instagram Reels as of June 2022, by Number of Followers
- Statista – Average Engagement on Instagram Reels and Posts as of June 2022, by Type of Interaction
- Statista – Preferred Types of Content on Instagram According to Users Worldwide as of February 2022
- Statista – Average Interactions on Instagram Content in 2021 and 2022, by Post Format
- Statista – Average Number of Users Reached per Piece of Published Content on Instagram as of June 2022 by Number of Followers