This page contains reference examples for Instagram, including the following:

  1. Instagram photo
  2. Instagram video
  3. Instagram profile
  4. Instagram highlight
Cite a temporary post (e.g., Instagram Story) or a livestream (e.g., Instagram Live) that is not archived by its hosting platform and cannot be retrieved by any other means (i.e., recorded and made available online via another hosting site) as a personal communication.

1. Instagram photo

Philadelphia Museum of Art [@philamuseum]. (2019, December 3). “It’s always wonderful to walk in and see my work in a collection where it’s loved, and where people are [Photograph]. Instagram.


  • Parenthetical citation: (Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2019)
  • Narrative citation: Philadelphia Museum of Art (2019)
  • Present the name of the individual or group author the same as you would for any other reference. Then provide the Instagram handle (beginning with the @ sign) in square brackets, followed by a period.
  • Provide the specific date of the post.
  • Provide the first 20 words of the post as the title. Count a URL, a hashtag, or an emoji as one word each, and include them in the reference if they fall within the first 20 words. Do not italicize emojis.
  • Include a description of the post (e.g., “[Photo],” “[Video]”) in square brackets after the title.
  • Credit Instagram as the site name in the source element and then provide the URL of the photo.
  • The format used for Instagram is also used for Twitter and TikTok.

2. Instagram video

APA Public Interest Directorate [@apapubint]. (2019, June 14). Male depression is serious, but many men try to ignore it or refuse treatment. Different men have different symptoms, but [Video]. Instagram.


  • Parenthetical citation: (APA Public Interest Directorate, 2019)
  • Narrative citation: APA Public Interest Directorate (2019)

3. Instagram profile

National Geographic [@natgeo]. (n.d.). IGTV [Instagram profile]. Instagram. Retrieved December 8, 2019, from

Swift, T. [@taylorswift]. (n.d.). Posts [Instagram profile]. Instagram. Retrieved January 9, 2020, from

United States Army [@usarmy]. (n.d.). Tagged [Instagram profile]. Instagram. Retrieved January 18, 2020, from


  • Parenthetical citations: (National Geographic, n.d.; Swift, n.d.; United States Army, n.d.)
  • Narrative citations: National Geographic (n.d.), Swift (n.d.), and United States Army (n.d.)
  • Use the name of the profile page you want to cite in the title element of the reference (e.g., “Posts,” “IGTV,” “Tagged”).
  • Include the description “[Instagram profile]” in square brackets.
  • Provide a retrieval date because the content is designed to change over time and is not archived.
  • Provide the URL of the page.

4. Instagram highlight

The New York Public Library [@nypl]. (n.d.). The raven [Highlight]. Instagram. Retrieved January 6, 2020, from


  • Parenthetical citation: (The New York Public Library, n.d.)
  • Narrative citation: (The New York Public Library (n.d.)
  • Include the description “[Highlight]” in square brackets.
  • Provide a retrieval date because the content is designed to change over time (users can add or remove stories from the highlight) and is not archived.
  • Provide the URL of the highlight.

Instagram references are covered in Section 10.15 of the APA Publication Manual, Seventh Edition

Last updated: March 2021Date created: February 2020