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What Type of Feed Post Gets the Most Engagement on Instagram?

Long gone are the days when your only option on Instagram was to post a single filtered photo to your feed. Now we consider single photo posts, carousel photo posts, and feed video posts to be standard feed posts on Instagram. Reels don't fall in that category because they have the option to only be shared to the Reels feed, and Stories don't count because they never hit the feed. Our friends at Later analyzed over 81M Instagram feed posts (excluding Reels & Stories) to figure out which kind of posts will get you the highest engagement possible.

So ... What Type of Instagram Post Gets the Most Engagement?

Later started their study with analyzing 44M feed posts from January 1, 2021 - February 28, 2022, and the answer was extremely evident to Later: carousel posts. Carousel posts came in first, single photo posts came in second, and surprisingly - feed videos came in dead last.

With Instagram's new emphasis on video (announced by the head of Instagram Adam Mossseri in June 2021), we were surprised to see video's engagement coming in last for this data set that overlapped with Mosseri's announcement.

To double check their work and see how it compares to historical data, Later analyzed an additional 37M Instagram feed posts (again - excluding Reels & Stories) that also included posts from 2020. Check it out below:

As you can clearly see, engagement rates have been steadily dropping for all 3 types of feed posts from 2020 - 2022. While the engagement rates are dropping for carousel posts as well, carousel posts have still been winning the engagement game for the last 3 years.