The Iconosquare Guide to Reach & Impressions

What are Reach and Impressions?

Reach is defined by Instagram's API documentation as the total number of times the Business User's media (i.e. posts, stories, Reels and promotions) has been uniquely viewed. Includes ad activity generated through the API, Facebook ads interface, and the Promote feature.

Impressions is defined by the documentation as the total number of times the Business User's media (i.e. posts, stories, and promotions) has been viewed. Includes ad activity generated through the API, Facebook ads interface, and the Promote feature. Does not include profile visits.

We receive our Reach & Impressions data from the Instagram Insights API (run by Facebook), and thus the two statements above are how we define Reach & Impressions on Iconosquare. Please check out the articles below for further information on how Facebook defines this data - click here for Reach and here for Impressions

Can I get historical data on Reach & Impressions? 

Reach & Impressions data is usually available historically from up to 3 months before you added your Instagram Business Profile to 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 from Instagram's?

Our reach counts are broken down into 24hr segments added together to make a cumulative total (for example, the 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.  

An example:   

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 are my impressions different from those of Facebook Ads Manager?

It is not possible to compare impressions between the Iconosquare platform and Facebook Ads Manager. This is because Facebook Ads Manager only takes into consideration those impressions from Ads used in a campaign and not from old posts. We are currently getting impressions this way directly from the Facebook API.

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).

Are Stories included in Reach & Impressions data?


Are Reels included in Reach and Impressions data?

The global Reach KPI (at the top of the Overview page and the Reach page) does include reach generated by Reels. However, Impressions for Reels are not included in the global KPI since we do not get Impressions from Reels in general. Confusing, we know!

Do Reach & Impressions include Profile Visits?

No. Profile Visits are counted in the Profile Visits 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 analyzing. 

The summed-up Reach at post level might also be higher than the global Reach KPI, this is because of the way Instagram calculates Reach. They calculate Reach as UNIQUE accounts that 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. 'Paid' Reach & Impressions in this case refers to the Reach & Impressions of both boosted posts and Ads.

​Can I see paid reach and impressions on individual posts?

As of 28th May 2019, ADVANCED and ENTERPRISE users are now able to view both paid and organic reach and impressions for promoted Instagram posts! Find out more about this here! Please note, this relates to promoted posts only, not Ads that do not appear on your Instagram feed.

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. 

How are Twitter Impressions calculated?

Please refer to this FAQ for information relating to Twitter impressions on Iconosquare.