Exploring Instagram’s Desktop Reporting Dashboard

Jun 23, 2019  |  By Isaac Maltzer  |  

Facebook recently added an Instagram reporting dashboard to their Creator Studio, which allows account owners to easily view insights on their desktops that were previously only accessible on mobile devices. We took a dive into the new tool to get an understanding of what’s available. Here’s what we learned.

The Instagram dashboard allows users to add multiple accounts. Once you sign into your accounts within the dashboard, you can easily hop back and forth between accounts to pull reporting, or you can group accounts together and look at the combined data. For the most part, our team at Civilian only needs to see accounts individually, but there are situations where the grouped insights could be useful (particularly if multiple accounts are handled for a single client).

The most robust section of the dashboard is the Content Library. In this area, you can sort through posts and pull metrics on everything you’ve ever posted to Instagram. All posts can be looked at together, or they can be divided up based on whether they’re Photos, Videos, Carousels, Stories, or IGTV posts. The data available is the same as you’re probably accustomed to seeing when you use Instagram Insights on your mobile device. The top-level chart gives you a Like and Comment count, and when you drill down into individual posts, you can get more in-depth insights like Saves, Website Clicks, Profile Visits, etc. Unfortunately, this section is currently the only area where you can set custom dates for reporting. In all other sections, you are limited to the previous seven days. Hopefully that will change soon.

The second section is called Insights. Insights is broken out into two sub categories: Activity and Audience. The Activity section is where you can see the number and types of interactions people have had with your content and account. You can also view how many individual accounts your content has reached, and how many total impressions have been delivered.  But as mentioned earlier, all this data is currently limited to the past seven days.

The Audience subcategory is where you can go to get more information on who your followers are. The data available is relatively basic. It includes age and gender, which countries and cities they’re mostly located in, and what times/days they’re most active on Instagram. Currently, there’s no interest level classification of your audience available.

The third and final section is called Instagram Accounts. In this section, you can add Instagram accounts to the dashboard.

The Instagram Dashboard in the Facebook Creator Studio is a step in the right direction, but it still has a lot of room for improvement. For our purposes, it has two glaring shortcomings. The first is the limited date customization. Working at an ad agency requires us to report in numerous permutations of date ranges, including weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually, random fiscal year parameters, and so on. The seven-day limitation creates a lot of work on the back end, and opens the door for all kinds of errors and data overlap. We’ll be surprised if that’s not updated in the near future. 

The second and possibly even greater issue is the inability to export reports! Facebook Insights set a high bar in the level of detail and customization available in their reporting, and the ability to download massive reports spanning up to 6 months per export. The lack of an “export” function coupled with the limited date customization in the Instagram Dashboard is pretty shocking. 

The Instagram Dashboard is still a new tool and appears to be a work in progress. It’s great to finally have these insights available for free on our desktops, and not have to either go through a third-party tool or painstakingly pull data from our phones. The ability to add multiple accounts and easily hop between them within a reporting dashboard is a big step as well. But until date customization and report exportation is added, this dashboard will only help us in a limited capacity. We’ll be waiting anxiously for that time to come.

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