A smartphone showing the Instagram app

Instagram is a free photo and video sharing app available on Apple iOS, Android and Windows Phone.

Users can upload photos and videos and share them with their followers or with a select group of people.

They can also view, comment and like posts shared by the people they follow. Anyone 13 and older can create an account by registering an email address and selecting a username. They can also sign up by using their Facebook log in details.

Signing up

Instagram is free to use and there is no cost for signing up.

There are two methods to register:

Method one:

  • Enter your email address or phone number, choose a username and enter a password. You may also be asked to enter information, such as your date of birth or gender.

Method two:

You can register using your Facebook details. Once you have done this, you will simply need to select a username and allow Instagram access to your Facebook account.


Your username is something that uniquely identifies you. There may be two people with the same name but there will never be two people with the same username. For example, your name might be John Smith but your username might be: JohnSmith77.


Your “followers” are people who choose to see what you post. They are also able to like and comment on what you post.

You are also able to “follow” people. This means that you will see what they post and you will be able to like and comment on it too.


This is when you upload a photo or video and it becomes visible to the people that follow you. You can either choose one that you have saved to your phone or use the app to take one.

When you are creating a post, you have the ability to add a caption to your photo or video. The caption may describe it or add some context. For example: “this is me having my breakfast this morning”.


Instagram also allows you to search for posts by a persons name or by the words in captions. For example if you wanted to see posts about dogs, you could search for the word “dogs”. This will then show all of the posts of people you follow as well as those by public accounts that have captions containing the word “dogs”.


The iOS and Android apps for Instagram are known to be accessible with VoiceOver and TalkBack.

Here's a link to a video on YouTube by blind film director James Rath, who explains how a person with sight loss can use Instagram.

Instagram is working add text-to-speech to Reels, as well as the time left before the posted story expires. Read more in this story from Digital Information World.

Find out more about Instagram.