Reach is defined by Instagram's API documentation as the total number of times the Business User's media objects (i.e. posts, stories and promotions) have been uniquely viewed. Includes ad activity generated through the API, Facebook ads interfaces, and the Promote feature.
Impressions is defined by the documentation as the total number of times the Business User's media objects (i.e. posts, stories and promotions) have been viewed. Includes ad activity generated through the API, Facebook ads interfaces, and the Promote feature. Does not include profile views.
We receive our Reach & Impressions data from the Instagram Insights API, and thus the two statements above are how we define Reach & Impressions on Iconosquare.
Can I get historical data on Reach & Impressions?
Reach & Impressions data is usually available historically from up to 3 months before you verified your Instagram Business Profile on Iconosquare. You'll find historical Reach & Impressions data by adjusting the date-picker on the Reach section.
So why is our Reach data sometimes different to Instagram's?
Our reach counts are broken down into 24hr segments, added together to make a cumulative total (for example, past 30 days). We call this daily Reach. What this means is that while we can know if the same user sees your post more than once in a day, we can't carry over knowledge of that user to the next day. So while Instagram will only count this user once (as 1 x Reach) over the 30-day time period, we will count them multiple times as 1 unique daily Reach.
Scenario 1: John sees your post once each day for 3 days.
Iconosquare shows: 3 reach, 3 impressions.
Instagram shows: 1 reach, 3 impressions.
Scenario 2: John sees your post twice a day for 3 days.
Iconosquare shows: 3 reach, 6 impressions.
Instagram shows: 1 reach, 6 impressions.
Other things to note about differences in Reach:
All Reach & Impressions are sent to us in the PST timezone (straight from Silicon Valley!) We have to make some adjustments that you can view your analytics in your own timezone, and unfortunately this can sometimes mean small discrepancies. This is more common with Stories, where the analytics are only available in the API for 24 hours, and can allow for 1-3% difference between Reach & Impressions on Iconosquare & Instagram.
Why is there such a big difference between my Reach & Impressions?
A user can see 3 of your posts and 3 of your Stories in one day and they will still only be counted as one unique viewer, which means one Reach. However, they have viewed your content 6 times so you will have 6 Impressions from this user. This means there can sometimes be quite a large difference between Reach & Impressions (1:6 in this case).
Do Reach & Impressions include Stories?
Do Reach & Impressions include Profile Views?
No. Profile Views are counted in the Profile Views metric, which you can find in the Profile Activity section on Iconosquare.
I added the Reach of all my posts & Stories together within a certain time period and it didn't equate to the global Reach KPI on the Reach/Overview page for the same time period. Why?
The global Reach & Impressions KPIs refer to Reach & Impressions you've got on any of your posts & Stories during that time period, regardless of whether they were posted during that time period. You are likely still getting Reach & Impressions from older posts, and the newer Reach & Impressions of your latest posts & Stories may also fall outside of the time period you're analysing.
The summed-up Reach at post level might also be higher than the global Reach KPI, is because of the way Instagram calculates Reach. They calculate Reach as UNIQUE accounts who have viewed your content during that time. So in the global Reach, no matter how many times they've seen your content, they'll be counted as 1. But if they've seen, say, 10 of your posts, they'll be counted as 1 in each individual post's Reach.
Please note from this that it is impossible to sum up your post/Stories Reach & Impressions from your media reports and have them match the global Reach/Impressions KPI.
You mentioned promotions at the beginning, but I can't see my ads on Iconosquare, so what does this mean?
As of 24th April 2018, Instagram is now sending us your Paid Reach & Impressions through the API. Global Reach & Impressions data as of that date will include both Paid & Organic Reach. This means that Paid Reach & Impressions will be added to the global KPIs on the Reach and Overview pages and to the Reach & Impressions History charts, but not yet to your individual post-by-post data. 'Paid' Reach & Impressions in this case refers to the Reach & Impressions of both boosted posts and Ads.
Any advice for what to rely on when I'm pulling reports?
We recommend that when reporting, you use one set of data and stick to that. Please remember that our data is pulled directly from the Instagram and Facebook APIs and we report what they send to us, and trust that their APIs are correct.