How to Access Instagram's Powerful Analytic 'Insights' Right Now For Free

How to Access Instagram's Powerful Analytic 'Insights' Right Now For Free

A few months ago we shared that Instagram began to roll out some pretty powerful analytic tools called "Insights," though as many of you might have gathered it's not available to the masses just yet. Select users have their hands on the tools currently and they are able to track things like impressions, total reach, clicks to the link in your bio, and even what percentage of your followers are male or female. The tools expand further down into regions of the world your followers are from, including the exact city. Here is how to get them right now, for free.

The overall power of being able to track analytics is very important in the digital world. As many of you might have gathered, being able to show value and importance using photos can be tough at times with many client types. This type of thing helps boost that with actual numbers associated with your work as well as show you can bring far more value than a great photo; you can show story, growth, and even virality with some series of posts over a span of time.

Starting off, below is what I see when I open Instagram today. I find at the top of the page a small little added tab of status bars. This is where I can access my insights. Now, my account doesn't have the "contact" call-to-action (CTA), but for this example I wanted to make sure you saw exactly what I see when I go through the process of activating the feature.

First, you want to go to your profile and click the gear in the top right corner. This will bring you to settings. Then finding yourself down just a few tabs is "Switch to Business Profile." From there you are asked to link this to a Facebook Business Page. This is a must and can only be done with a Facebook business account so be sure to have one created if you don't already. You then want to link the appropriate account as seen below.

Once set up, you will then be able to go back to your profile and see the icon for Insights in the top right. As seen below you will then have access to this main screen which is filled with some very helpful tools including impressions, reach, and website clicks in your profile.

You will then notice "See More," which is where you can begin to dig a bit deeper into the types of photos people like and also the type of followers you have and where they are from.

Another great addition is the ability to see the more important Insights at a glance within each photo posted, as indicated below. 

One last piece to this switch into a business page is that you are forced to add a "Contact" CTA to your profile page. This can be assigned to either a phone number, email address, or even a location. I seem to be within a beta test of users that only see analytics and aren't forced to switch to a business profile at the moment, but I went ahead and switched to show you what that CTA can look like below.

For months I have been wondering how exactly Instagram, or Facebook, will go about separating or knowing who is a business account or a personal account. Like Facebook, over time they allowed people the freedom to make their own business pages and then cut the engagement on those pages until they paid the premium that was attached to it to allow the very users they built to see their content. This seems to answer that question very clearly, but with the option to turn it on and off and simply opt-in from the start it makes me think it won't limit your engagement like they do with business pages on Facebook. So far I have not seen a bit of loss in engagement since switching to a business profile and back again, which is incredible.

Long ago when Instagram first started, I found ways to create social campaigns with friends in my city that had great talent and solid followers on the platform, and literally added up the number of likes, comments, and followers the brand received over a specific period of time we did promotions. This worked very well for me but it was incredibly small amounts of information and didn't quite show the scale of the actual reach. With new analytic tools and even being a beta tester on certain platforms like Statigram (now called Iconosquare). Then came along another great tool called Nitrogram, which also fizzled and pivoted to another plan. All these places were great, until they began monthly charges. So to have Instagram build analytics into the app is outstanding. The power you are able to provide clients when talking social media is very important in today's market. As a photographer you can sell to a local restaurant, for example, that you can take great photos and also share them to a follower base that is centralized to them for added value.

The only disclaimer I give you is beware of becoming a business account. Even though switching to a business page gives you some powerful tools like Insights and also the option to create a CTA for clients and collaborators to reach out to you directly, it also marks you as a business page. That could later turn out similar to the Facebook fiasco where they drastically limit the reach of your organic posts.

In the case you are like me and have the tools but are not a business page, let me know in the comments below. I would love to see how many people they are allowing this access without connecting to a separate Facebook account. Either way, let me know in the comments below what you think of the new tools and if you plan on using them from a personal or business page standpoint.

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20 Comments

Charles Gaudreault's picture

i dont have this option to switch to business :S

Ha! Seems how IG is owned by FB and we saw what FB did with organic reach of our business profiles I think I'll not set myself up the eventual "pay to be seen" model they are striving for.

I don't have the option either....

Mike Last's picture

Not available on three of my accounts here in Canada.

Ryan Cooper's picture

My only concern with switching to a business account like that would be if IG starts cutting reach of business accounts first to try to get them to boost.

Robert Raymer's picture

I agree. I'm not thrilled with the FB takeover of IG as it is, but if IG does start cutting reach of businesses first there is always the option to switch back to a personal account, at least on my profile.

Percy Ortiz's picture

That is actually good to know. I was wondering if one would be able to switch back

Andrew Griswold's picture

Yup, I was shocked by this little feature and its reassuring that I can swap back and forth on my own.

Andrew Griswold's picture

So I did a little experiement yesterday in which I changed the profile title on my FB page, which connects to your IG page and I was just plaing with various titles. Today I have over 100 new followers from various fields and countries. No idea how but that seems odd. I have not seen any drop in engagement either. Even if I did I like the option to switch back to a personal account.

Cody Schultz's picture

interested to see if its truly worth switching to a business account on instagram, especially due to the lack of reach with facebook's business pages...definitely worries me and currently keeps me from switching. i dont have much of a reach so as it is haha

Funny thing. I haven't been able to see my insights for two weeks now. IG just keeps spinning and spinning without displaying anything.

Matthias Dengler's picture

I don't have the option either....

Denis Girard's picture

Same here...no option

Andrew Griswold's picture

Yea, looks like those that don't have it are located in Canada. It is a slow roll out and you do need the most recent update.

Tomash Masojc's picture

In Lithuania we also don't have this option to switch :)

Daryl Watkins's picture

I switched to a business account a few weeks ago and I can tell you that the number of likes and comments are down significantly.

ERIC VELADO's picture

I do have the option to switch and think this is a great feature, but I will keep my account personal.

Daniel Shortt's picture

Turn on buisness page...haha!! Nooooo I know what that leads to thank you very much! I'm not getting done by that twice.

John Pyle's picture

I have over 11K followers and stay private. Love being private.... But this option is not available for private profiles.

Built in analytics is not so powerful. I'd recommend to use more professional analytics like https://smartmetrics.co. It's also free for small accounts.