The Best Time to Post on YouTube for Peak Engagement (2024)

by Sarah Cha


Wondering when is the best time to post on YouTube? 

Well, look no further.

Whether you’re a vlogger, a business, or an educator, understanding the secret sauce of timing can transform your YouTube video. 

After all, being on YouTube is competitive, and you want to ensure your video content reaches your target audience at the best possible time. 


Let’s begin.

Does Posting Time Matter on YouTube?

When we think about content creation on YouTube, we often pay attention to video quality, script, editing, thumbnail design, and, of course, the actual video content. 

Yet, there’s an aspect we often overlook: the time we post

YouTube, much like any other social media platform, has a peak viewing time. 

These are times when most YouTube users are actively engaging with content. Posting during these hours means your video has a higher chance of being seen, liked, commented on, and shared.

Imagine you’ve just created a masterpiece of a YouTube video or YouTube Short, one that you’re convinced will go viral.

But you upload it at 3 am when most potential viewers are fast asleep… 

By the time they wake up and log in, your video, now several hours old, may have been pushed down their feed by fresher video content. 

The result?

Your masterpiece goes unnoticed. 

Now, let’s flip the script. 

Say you upload the same video at a time when your audience is most likely to be active on YouTube. 

Your video is fresh on their feed, capturing their attention. They click, watch, engage, and share. Your YouTube content gets the attention it deserves, all because you hit the ‘upload’ button at the right time.

But in a way, YouTube is different from all other social platforms. How so?

smartphone homepage

While social media platforms like Instagram or Twitter prioritize recency, YouTube’s algorithm is more focused on viewer engagement. 

Instead of prioritizing the newest YouTube content, it surfaces videos that viewers are likely to watch through to the end. 

In other words, how well your video resonates with your target audience matters more than when you posted it. 

So if YouTube’s algorithm isn’t all about recency, does posting time even matter? 

There’s been plenty of debate around this question. Some creators insist on the significance of timing, while others shrug it off as a minor detail. 

Here’s the deal… while timing isn’t the be-all and end-all of YouTube success, it does play a role.

Consider the concept of virality.

The likelihood of a video going viral increases dramatically during the first few hours after it’s posted. This is when your subscribers will receive notifications and your video will have its first shot at the ‘Trending’ page. 

If you post when most of your viewers are active, you’ve got a better chance at those initial views, shares, and comments that can catapult your video into the viral stratosphere.

But if you don’t post your YouTube videos when viewers are most active, you reduce your chances of success. 

By how much? That depends.

The point is, if you’re looking to optimize your YouTube strategy, timing is certainly a worthwhile factor to keep in mind!

Identifying the Best Times to Post on YouTube

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Now, let’s get to the nitty-gritty. When is the best time to post on YouTube?

General wisdom suggests:

  • Weekdays during working hours (specifically Tuesday through Thursday, between 2 PM and 4 PM) when people are looking for a quick break from their tasks is a good time for YouTube posting. 
  • Weekends (between 10 AM to 11 AM) are also great, because that’s when viewers are likely enjoying a more leisurely morning and have more time to engage with content. 

But remember, these are just general guidelines.

What matters most is when your audience is online.

But when is that?

How to Find YOUR Best Time to Post on YouTube

laptop screen showing youtube icon

Want to figure out the optimal time to post for your specific audience? YouTube analytics is your new best friend. Here’s a quick guide on how to use it:

  • Sign in to YouTube Studio and click on the ‘Analytics’ tab on the left menu.
  • In the ‘Overview’ section, you will see a graph of how many views you’ve gotten in the past 28 days.
  • Click over to the ‘Audience’ to the right of the Overview section, and scroll down. You will see a section called “When your viewers are on Youtube” that features a purple heat map. This heat map shows when your viewers are most active on the platform. The darker the color, the more viewers are online at that time.

Don’t feel like crunching numbers? TubeBuddy, a YouTube-certified management tool, can do the work for you. 

It offers a ‘Best Time to Publish’ feature that analyzes your channel’s data and suggests the best time to post for maximum engagement.

If you have Tubebuddy installed, this recommendation will show up right under “When your viewers are on YouTube” in your Analytics dashboard.

And you can use TubeBuddy for more than just data analysis. 

It’s also an excellent tool for keyword research, productivity, and bulk processing. It’s particularly handy when you’re trying to gauge the best time to post on YouTube.

Once installed, TubeBuddy presents a ‘Best Time to Publish’ option in the main menu. 

Selecting this feature includes a detailed chart displaying your subscribers’ active times throughout the week. 

It also offers specific recommended upload times for each day. How neat is that?

But one thing to keep in mind…

Your channel needs to be fairly active, with enough activity for Youtube or Tubebuddy to crunch your numbers. 

If you are a brand new channel with no viewers or very few viewers, you’ll have to wait until you accumulate more viewer data in order for YouTube and Tubebuddy to give you their reports.

Fine-Tuning Your YouTube Schedule

man using a computer

Remember, YouTube Analytics and TubeBuddy’s heat maps and recommendations are just that: Recommendations.

Don’t take it as an ironclad rule that you MUST post when they indicate. Instead, you need to figure out what actually works for you in real life through trial and error. 

You need to post videos at different times and observe when they get the most traction.

For instance, you might try posting at 2 pm one week, then 5 pm the next, and perhaps 8 pm the week after. 

Monitor the views, likes, comments, and shares each video garners. Note any patterns or spikes in engagement. 

Do you get more views when you post YouTube videos in the afternoon or the evening? Do likes and comments surge when you post on a Wednesday compared to a Friday?

And remember that YouTube’s algorithm favors channels that keep viewers on the platform for longer. So, consistent posting and engagement with your audience is important. 

A consistent schedule not only helps to establish a routine with your viewers but also sends positive signals to YouTube’s algorithm, potentially boosting your videos’ visibility.

Now, bear in mind, this isn’t a one-and-done deal. 

The beauty (and sometimes, the challenge) of social media is that it’s always changing. 

Seasons change, school years start and end, global events shift our daily routines — all these factors can impact your audience’s behavior on YouTube. 

To stay ahead, you’ll need to keep testing and tracking, tweaking your schedule as necessary.

While it may seem like a lot of work, this process has a significant payoff. 

By aligning your posting schedule with your audience’s habits, you ensure that your videos get maximum exposure, leading to higher engagement and more substantial growth for your channel. 

And remember to be kind to yourself. You’re not going to get everything right straight away. That’s why it’s crucial to keep testing different posting times, tracking your results, and adjusting accordingly.

Make testing and tracking a permanent part of your overall YouTube strategy, and that will go a long way into maintaining and growing your YouTube channel!

Why Posting Consistency Matters

man watching an ipad in front of a computer

Let’s take a moment to reemphasize the importance of consistency. 

Think of your YouTube channel like a TV show. If your viewers know a new episode comes out every Wednesday at 6 PM, they’re more likely to tune in at that time each week.

Consistency does more than just build viewer habits, though. 

It also positively impacts how YouTube’s algorithm perceives and promotes your channel. By consistently posting quality content that engages your audience, you show YouTube that your channel is active and valuable to viewers.

Besides, maintaining a regular schedule can help you avoid the worst times to post. If you’re always posting at consistent times, you’re less likely to post during those low-engagement periods. 

It’s a win-win.

In the end, understanding the ins and outs of YouTube posting times is about more than just following general guidelines. 

It’s about knowing your audience, experimenting with different strategies, and making use of the analytics tools available to you. 

Unlocking the Best Time to Post on YouTube

Now you know how to decode the best times to post.

It’s not a one-time deal but a continual process. And, of course, it can be tricky to keep track of your analytics while keeping your content top-notch. 

But remember, the power is in your hands. You’ve got the insights now. 

With the knowledge you’ve gained, you’re ready to transform your channel and send your engagement rates through the roof. 

Ready to conquer YouTube? Make this your year of unprecedented growth!

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Sarah Cha

Sarah is an avid writer, reader, and lifelong learner who loves making magic behind-the-scenes at Smart Blogger. When she's not wrangling words onto a screen or page, you can find her strumming a guitar, tickling a canvas, or playing fetch with her favorite four-footed friend!


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Photo of author

Written by Sarah Cha

Sarah is an avid writer, reader, and lifelong learner who loves making magic behind-the-scenes at Smart Blogger. When she's not wrangling words onto a screen or page, you can find her strumming a guitar, tickling a canvas, or playing fetch with her favorite four-footed friend!

1 thought on “The Best Time to Post on YouTube for Peak Engagement (2024)”

  1. That 2 PM to 4 PM EST time seems about right Sarah. Being abroad, I sometimes forget to publish at opportune times. But being consistent makes the ultimate difference because showing up – even at off peak hours – daily, for a long time, conditions subs to expect your videos. When they expect the vids, they show up frequently and you slowly but surely build a following. Or at the very least, you build a subscriber base who gradually watches your videos.

    Super strategy here.



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