Across Luminate's Share apps, we find images shared through our platform drive an average of five return visits to publisher sites. Publishers like this metric and often ask us what time of day they should post their images to elicit the highest user engagement.
Looking at the total number of U.S. shares across a typical weekday, shares plateau at 7am and remain strong until 9pm, so it would be easy to conclude that there is a steady level of image sharing interest over a 14-hour daytime time span. The return traffic from those shares follows a nearly identical distribution curve compared to the original shares. But is that the whole picture?
The rate of sharing during the day tells a different story. Image Views, the number of times that an image was scrolled into the browser's viewport (therefore seen by an end user), peak in the early mornings and then proceed to fall throughout the day. It's during this morning rush that users are the least likely to share images. Share rate is highest after 3pm PST (6pm EST) after the workday or school-day has finished and users have extra time to share and interact with images.
So when is the best time to post images? Data suggest publishers should post in the morning to capture the expected morning spike of traffic, but post in the afternoon to get the highest image engagement.