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Study Shows How Emojis, Videos and Caption Lengths Affects Instagram Post Performance

A new study of Instagram post performance was conducted by Quintly, a social analytics platform. The study analyzed 5.4 million posts, and 34k Instagram business profiles throughout the month of January 2019.

The study gives an overall insight on how these profiles are using the platform and what kind of content drives engagement in a landscape that is shifting fast.

Takeaways from the Report

Post Type

Although users have the choice between videos, images, and carousels, images remain the top format preferred by Instagram users, accounting for 68% of all published posts.

Quintly instagram post typegraph

Source: Quintly

However, it was noted that profiles with a higher follower count tended to post more videos. In fact, the bigger a profile was in terms of followers, the more videos it posted.

According to Quintly, by prioritizing images over videos and carousels, smaller businesses are missing out on serious opportunities, as video posts receive up to 49% higher interactions than other formats.

Quintly post type interactions comparison drawing

Source: Quintly

The clear takeaway from this is that brands looking to maximize their performance should include more videos and even carousels in their Instagram strategy.

Post Lengths

More than just types of posts, the study also shed some light on captions, and whether caption length has an impact on post performance.

The study showed that there is a visible trend of publishing descriptive posts as 67% businesses use more than 150 characters and 35.8% over 300 characters for their captions.

Quintly distribution of post lengths graph

Source: Quintly

So, is there a correlation between profile size and post length?

Surprisingly, for profiles with a large following (1-10 million followers), posts with no captions at all can still garner strong interactions. But for users with smaller followings, captions with 1-50 characters tend to receive more interactions.

Quintly post lenght average interactions graph

Source: Quintly

Therefore, it’s clear that brands need to adhere to this rule if they want to improve their interactions.

The Use of Emojis

Quintly also looked into the use of emojis in Instagram posts, and whether they helped to drive interactions.

The report stated that “the higher the number of emojis used, the higher the amount of interactions.” It also asserted that businesses are currently not using enough emojis, as 52.3% of all Instagram posts do not include emojis at all.

This research shows that no matter the size of the Instagram account, posts that don’t include any emojis receive the lowest interactions.

Quintly average interactions graph

Source: Quintly

emojis can have a positive effect on your posts as they often go along with more interactions,Quintly

Overall, this is an indication that Including emojis in posts should benefit businesses.

The Use of Hashtags

The final part of the study analyzed the use of hashtags in Instagram posts.

Predictably, the smallest profiles in terms of followers used the highest number of hashtags in their posts, which contained an average of 4-10 hashtags. Meanwhile the bigger profiles (10m+ followers) used much fewer hashtags.

Quintly concluded that the bigger your audience, the less likely you’ll need to use hashtags. But for the  majority of users, using more hashtags is a better option as it provides more exposure.

Quintly hashtag average interactions graph

Source: Quintly

All in all, how your business performs on Instagram will come down to the various, specific elements you choose to enact, but these findings can help you improve your performance and maximize your results. You can access the full data here.