The biggest Instagram Stories Research Study done to date

Faruk Deveci
The Startup
4 min readJun 25, 2019


Buffer, the social media management platform, partnered with Delmondo, a social media analytics platform, to analyze more than 15,000 Instagram stories from 200 of the world’s top brands in one of the largest Instagram Stories research studies to date.

500 Million DAILY users

According to Instagram, 500 million people around the world use Instagram Stories on a daily basis so Stories offer businesses a unique opportunity to capture the attention of their target audiences.

But where do you start?

And how to create great stories content?

These were the key findings from the study:

One to seven Stories is the optimal posting length.

Buffer and Delmondo found that one to seven stories was the optimal posting length to maximize the number of people who make it all the way through a series of Instagram story posts.

After that seven-story threshold, completion rate dropped below 70 percent.

Then again, the number of stories posted positively correlates with an increase in reach and impressions. So while completion rate did drop to 60 percent for a series of 20 stories, the median impressions was still nearly three times more than the seven-story threshold.

In other words, the more a brand posts on Stories, the more it can expect to reach a larger audience but get diminishing returns on completion rate.

The users who consume Instagram stories content (all 500 million of them) are so engaged that brands see a 75 percent completion rate on their stories, meaning that their audience stays to watch all the way to the last story frame.In fact, according to Instagram’s internal data, one-third of the most-viewed stories come from businesses, and one in five stories earns a direct message from its viewers.

Engagement rates on Instagram Stories are so high that brands are finding success advertising with it.

According to Instagram’s internal stats, Oreo’s ads on Instagram Stories helped the brand with a 17 percent lower cost per lead.

L’Oréal Paris Russia saw similar success, with a cost per click 22 times lower compared to their average result using Instagram’s carousel ad format.

More content leads to greater median reach and impressions.

Accounts that posted a series of 10 stories earned twice as many median impressions as accounts that didn’t post at all.

And those with 20 stories earned five times the number of median impressions than the non-story posters.

The best time to post to Instagram Stories is outside of work hours

Average reach rate is 5.82 percent for all verticals, but there is a huge swing between sports accounts and media accounts.

Still, in a social media world where average organic reach within the news feed is a couple of percent at best, a five percent or greater average reach rate is a huge difference in terms of how many of your followers you can reach more of through the use of Stories.

Average posting frequency per month

Sports accounts are posting the most days per month (13.7), whereas brand accounts are posting the least amount of days per month (8.7).

Overall, we’re not at a point where brands are posting daily to Instagram Stories.

However, as the popularity of Instagram Stories grows and businesses continue to see success with the channel, posting daily will probably become more common.

Post your best Stories content first

Because in their 2018 benchmark study, Delmondo found that, on average, more people exit on the first and last story frame than any other part of your Stories.

Simplicity works.

The Guardian found that for their Instagram Stories, less labor-intensive posts like simple static graphics and quick explainer videos outperformed their professionally-produced videos.

Which makes sense because I believe in a social media world where there’s so much fake stuff going on, people are genuinely interested in real, raw, unedited, unfiltered content.

Post consistently to Stories.

Because completion rates are well above 50 percent and more and more users are consuming Stories content on a daily basis.

I’ve recently started posting a lot more on my feed but especially on my stories. I’m seeing a lot more reach on it so right now, before it gets way too saturated like what;s happening in the feed, hop on it and take advantage of its potential while you still can.

p.s. If you’re a small business owner with a working process to sell & service customers; you want lifelong customers that don’t complain about your prices; you want leads, inquiries or visits more than you can handle; you’re aware of the power of social media ads to achieve that; you don’t have the time to do it yourself OR you’ve tried it before and it didn’t work, go to Read the letter on that page and if it makes sense, fill out the form on the bottom and we’ll reach out to ya.

I’m grateful for your attention, for your likes, comments and shares.

Be great!




Faruk Deveci
The Startup

Host, The Perpetual Underdog Show | Ad Man, Entrepreneur, Perpetual Underdog, Content Creator |