Evie Barrett
May 30, 2024

Engagement grew on X despite controversy, research finds

Peak engagement on X (formerly Twitter) increased last year, despite some brands choosing to limit their social strategies on the social media platform, according to new data.

Engagement grew on X despite controversy, research finds

A year ago, it was found that late morning to midday on weekdays was the period of the highest engagement on X, but this timeframe for most active users has now extended until nearly 3pm.

That’s according to social media management and analytics software company Sprout Social’s annual research on the best times to post, for which it analyses nearly two billion engagements across 400,000 social profiles every year.

In its report, Sprout theorises that the extension of engagement on X “could reflect an interest in developing news and updates as the day unfolds, as well as a desire for entertainment”.

It notes that some brands limited their activity on the platform in 2023, due to controversy resulting from its 2022 takeover and subsequent rebrand by billionaire Elon Musk, who also eased content moderation. Sprout says wider global conflicts may have played a part too, but, nonetheless, many businesses “continuously look to X to participate in trending topics that align with their brand values”.

More generally, the report concludes that Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best days to post on social media across all platforms, while Sunday is the worst day to post.

Specifically, it says the best times to post on social media in the UK are Tuesday and Thursday between 9am and 2pm.

It adds, however, that UK users of TikTok and Pinterest tend to be more receptive to afternoon posts.

As was the case last year, Facebook continues to be the most-used platform by marketers worldwide, at 89 per cent, although Instagram comes in a close second at 80 per cent. The two platforms are said to be tied for offering marketers the highest return on investment, at 29 per cent.


Facebook’s highest engagement periods continue to match general business hours, falling within mid-mornings during weekdays, from 9am until about 2pm.

“Most users are taking a quick break in their routines for Facebook, making it the best time to schedule posts for target audiences to interact with,” says Sprout Social.

This differs from the previous trend of very early morning engagement on Facebook.


The best times to post on Instagram in 2024 are weekdays, generally between 10am and 2pm, with Tuesdays’ and Wednesdays’ peak engagement times extending to 4pm.

Sprout highlights the importance of Instagram’s shortform video offering, Reels, stating that even though this faces competition from TikTok, the videos tend to generate more likes and saves than static Instagram posts.

It adds, however, that the Instagram algorithm is “unpredictable”, and success requires consistent, high-quality content to be posted to a page – admitting this is “a lot to ask for with each piece of content published”.


As a professional-focused social platform, LinkedIn’s peak engagement times are consistent with general business hours. High engagement hours are more concentrated around midday and don’t extend too far past standard working hours.

Sprout highlights that “there’s buzz on the platform” between 10am and 12pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, as well as on Thursdays around 10am.

“Businesses on LinkedIn are finding new ways to generate leads, find co-marketing partners, highlight company culture and attract talent,” its report adds, referring to the various opportunities available on the platform.


TikTok has now amassed over 1.5 billion active global users who spend an average of 23 hours on the app every month – compared to last year’s one billion users with an average of 20 hours a month.

The best times to post on the rapidly evolving platform are thought to be Tuesdays and Fridays from 4pm-6pm, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 9am-11am and 2pm-6pm.

Afternoons are when engagement peaks on the platform, as users are looking for an afternoon entertainment boost, says Sprout. Generally, though, engagement on the app is above average between 9am and 5pm on Tuesdays through Fridays.


While people may see Pinterest as a visual search engine where users go to research DIY projects and inspiration products, Sprout believes the platform also presents an opportunity to expand brand awareness and community.

“We’re seeing a significant shift in engagement hours this year compared to last,” its report says. “Whereas last year we saw a nearly universal spread across all hours of the day every day of the week, this year we’re seeing significant engagement at the early hours of the morning and lower moderate engagement midday during weekdays.

It concludes that, interestingly, Tuesdays through Fridays at 1am and Thursdays at 3am are peak times to post on Pinterest.




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