When is the best time to publish on steemit?

in programming •  3 years ago

In the post 'when do whales upvote?' I looked at the distribution of upvotes by whales. It showed a clear difference between whales and whale bots, and also which whales are more active up-voters.

At the end of that post I touched on the subject of when the best time to publish would be, but could only really talk about that in relation to when whales upvote.

So I wrote another Python program to plot the total payout value (reward) in relation to when posts were published for all blocks between 01-08-2016 and 14-08-2016, a two week period that luckily starts on a Monday.

Note: All times are in coordinated universal time (UTC). Use an online tool to convert this to your local time zone.


The following figure has three plots. The x-axis is divided into bins for each hour, and the y-axis shows the value for the total payout value, average total payout value, and number of posts for each hour.


Between 04:00 and 10:00 UTC there is a large dip in all graphs. At the lowest point at 06:00 the total payout value is under $20000, which is more than four times lower than the peak value of over 100000 at 18:00.

If you want to increase your chances of a higher payout, it's better to publish your article around 18:00 UTC. But what could explain this?

Perhaps there are less users online, suggesting that a majority of users are in the same time zone. That means less posts and less upvotes. In fact, if we look at the distribution of upvotes in the same period, we see the same pattern:



The following figure shows the total payout value per day. Each plot is a single day, with each day showing the total payout value for each hour.


Each day has a the same general shape showing a dip around 06:00. The peaks are more pronounced on Monday, flattening out as the week goes on, before picking back up again on Friday and Saturday. This can be seen more clearer on the following stripplot:


If you want to increase your chances of a higher payout, it's better to publish your article at the beginning of the week, with Monday being the best day.

Now let's address the peak on Thursday at 21:00 UTC. Not only is that peak not present on other days, it also differs substantially to the values for 20:00 and 22:00 UTC.

This isn't the first time I've seen this peak!

In the post about when whales upvote, I produced a graph for @ned based on data from July 2016. On Thursday at 21:00 UTC, there's the exact same spike.

ned whale upvote

Is @ned really causing that spike or is @ned just coincidentally voting on a really good post along with other whales? Could this happen on other days and not just a Thursday?

What are you up to @ned? ;)

What we know is that @ned has an upvoting frenzy on Thursdays at 21:00 UTC, and that Thursdays also has an outlier in the total payout value at the same time. It might be worth looking at what @ned's voting on to see if that offers an explanation.

So when is the best time?

Based on the graphs shown above the best time (statistically) to publish an article is on a Monday at 18:00 UTC. Generally speaking, you should prefer the beginning of the week to the end, and should avoid publishing between 04:00 and 10:00 UTC.

Bear in mind that content is, or at least should be, the most important factory to being rewarded. Just because you post at a statistically better time doesn't mean you'll get a large payout.

Show me the code

You can find the code for in the jonblack/steem-data repository. This is much easier than posting it here. Fork to your hearts content!

Also a quick not about parsing posts from the blockchain. Both posts and comments are a comment in the blockchain. I've seen a lot of people use title to determine what a post is by checking if it's an empty string; however, comments can have titles.

The correct way to is the compare the comment's idto its root_comment - if those numbers are the same, the current transaction in the block is a post.

Other statistics posts I've written:

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@bitcalm Thanks for this! It's awesome content. I think with the name like it is it's going to end up overlooked sadly. But looks like you are getting minnow love anyways.
Excellent content, I love it and it's spot on! Upvoted and I'm following you now so I don't miss any more great content like this!


Thanks, I appreciate the feedback. In case you've missed it, there are links at the end of the post to two other stats-related posts I've done. Maybe something for you as well?

I think I saw somewhere that the payout threshold will be back to 24h from the current 12h. Can someone confirm this?
If that's true, it might change the graph quite a lot, probably to be better distributed over the whole day. In that case I hope you publish a comparison before and after the change.


Great point. As far as I'm aware this changed with the last hard fork, which was yesterday. Hopefully that's the case because my analysis was the two weeks just before that. I think it'd be interesting to do a follow up post as well. I'd would expect more distribution in upvotes but I think the reward won't flatten out that much because of the weight behind votes and the apparent fact that most whales live in a few timezones...but perhaps I'm wrong.

The simple reason of gap is that most steem whales are from USA and other english-speaking countries. All the rest are waiting for appearance of national whales who understand non-English posts


That's a good point. The whales may be paying attention but the posts that are published at the "dip times" are by non-native English speakers. Those English posts might be lower in quality, or as you said, might not be in English at all.


So steemit needs non- English whales to eliminate this time gap. And I am pretty sure they will appear. It is the matter of time.

Thanks, I've been wondering the answer to this question for weeks.

18:00 UVT/GMT is probably bc Europeans are still awake then, and America is just beginning to get out of work but even at work they have access to phones/internet.
Monday might also correlate with people quickly tiring of work on Monday after a weekend, easing into the workweek. Dip on Wednesday would be due to peak-work-performance, before Thursday begins people taking longer weekends.
The "repeak" at 20:00 would be due to Americans REALLY being done with work about then.
Would be interesting to see the graphs parsed even broader down to the minute or 15 minute intervals.

My first thought was to look at the time now. Are you following your own advice?


Haha no I'm not. I'm close to a peak for Tuesday, though I've missed the first one. I'm too lazy to wait, how bad is that! :)


I was saving my upvote for closer to 30 min, but too lazy to wait too. Bed time here now, so upvoted away.

Glad to have found this post on my way to becoming a savvy steemer. :-)

The thing with social data like this is that once you release it, it changes because you release it lmao

@bitcalm I guess after this post we may see an increase of posts published around 18:00 and an extra boost at the same time on Mondays :)...


Would be interesting to see if that happens. We can check the data again in a couple of weeks to find out. Depends on how much coverage the post gets.

I hope it gets a lot of coverage - it'd be nice to see if posts like this influence behaviour. Though in all honesty, even if that does happen (data-wise) it'd be hard to attribute it directly to the post.

Fun! Fun! Fun!

Awesome post, love your data analysis posts @bitcalm

So finally i get it thats its in UTC time. Thank you!

need to put my glasses on and get into the data. good stuff!

This is great analysis! Thank you so much for not only putting it together and sharing it, but also the link to the repo. Nice work!


Your welcome. Posting the code allows other the have some fun with the blockchain, but also to verify my results and call me out if I make a mistake.

Thanks for the information! I'm having a hard time gaining traction with my posts... knowing which time to post certainly won't hurt. :)

Thanks for providing this kind of analysis - it is fascinating.

Thank you for this :) It was as informative as it was pleasant to read.

Great tip for pulblishing content , i was also thinking the best time is 18:00 for publish content.


Just to be clear, that's 18:00 UTC time. Depending on where you live, that might not be 18:00 in the evening.

UP! Great info


Thanks. I hope I didn't make a mistake :s lol

Excellent work, wow! Thanks for posting this.

Very nice, logically presented, statistical argument. Good work!

Very helpful, thanks. I shouldn't have posted by introduceyourself post at 11:30 pm CST. :-( Maybe I'll repost it later.

Very useful analysis this one! I love such useful data! This is very useful for planning content! :)

i think whales voting is totally depend on our content quality


"content quality" is highly subjective. Also, not all whales vote that way all the time.

Good intel @bitcalm! thanks

Thank you for sharing this, such articles are very helpfull! upvoted

Thanks for sharing @bitcalm, this is really interesting stuff (and the graphics are very visually appealing!). Following for more from you!

I was actually just thinking about this last night. I had some time to write a quick post about my dog and wondered if the time (about 3 UTC) made a difference (admittedly it was not of utmost quality per se, more meant to just make some people smile). But still, it crossed my mind. https://steemit.com/life/@cehuneke/meet-marvin-the-maltipoo-a-formidable-5-3-pound-athlete

Wishing there was a way to either save a draft or schedule posting times. But especially save drafts...sometimes I have a bunch of half-baked ideas but don't have the time to sit and do them from start to finish at one sitting. Or maybe there is a way and I just don't know about it yet?

Wish I had known this a while ago!

Cool info! Followed.

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Thanks for the tips :)

So much informative post ! Thank you for your effort !
thumbs up steem with akkha.jpg

Very useful @bitcalm! Thanks for sharing, something everybody's probably interested in haha;P

Can you do this again with results from the last week or so? Your repo is down.

I'm still learning and having a great time here on steemit. Thanks for the analysis.

@bitcalm Any updates to the best time to post? Has it changed any over the past year?

Interesting and informative, I appreciate the work you done to be able to share this:-)

very useful @bit! how long does it take an analysis like that one?

Thank you very much! Looks like I'm going to have to flip my thinking in regards to posting times - most of the time late at night or 4-8 Thurs-Sat is prime time for me elsewheres.

Here on Steemit, though? I'm bringing one of my books here, so it certainly doesn't hurt to pay attention to optimal times. :D


~Thomas Duder, Author of the Things

Thank you so much for this post.