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APA Citations (7th ed.): Social Media

This guide will help you learn how to properly cite sources in APA style and how to avoid plagiarism.

Social Media

Cite only original content from social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and so forth.

Do not use this entry example for content you discovered through social media that is available elsewhere.

Social media posts may contain text, text with audiovisuals, or audiovisuals alone. Include the text of the social media post up to 20 words. Note the presence of audiovisuals in square brackets after the text of the post.

Social media posts might contain nonstandard spelling and capitalization, hashtags, links, and emojis. Do not alter spelling and capitalization. Retain hashtags and emojis (when possible).

If you are unable to replicate an emoji, provide the emoji's name in square brackets. The full list of emoji names can be found on the Unicode Consortium's website.

See pp. 348-350 of the manual for more information.

Social Media Template


  • If the tweet includes images (including animated gifs), videos, thumbnail links to outside sources, links to other tweets (as in a retweet with comment), or a poll, indicate that in square brackets.
  • For tweet replies, do not include the "replying to" information; if that is important to note, do so within the in-text citation.
  • Replicate emojis if possible.

American Psychological Association [@APA]. (2019, November 20). How can educators make an impact on issues outside of the classroom like income inequality and immigration reform? [Thumbnail with link attached] [Tweet]. Twitter.

Richmond National Battlefield Park [@RichmondNPS]. (2019, November 17). It's #NationalTakeaHikeDay! Come spend this day at a #RICH site! [Image attached] [Tweet]. Twitter.

White, B. [@BettyMWhite]. (2018, February 14). The story of how zoos have evolved over the years to become great contributors to conservation and wildlife [Video] [Tweet]. Twitter.

Parenthetical citations: (American Psychological Association, 2019; Richmond National Battlefield Park, 2019; White, 2018)

Narrative citations: American Psychological Association (2019), Richmond National Battlefield Park (2019), and White (2018)

Twitter Profile

  • Provide a retrieval date because the contents of the page can change over time.
  • A Twitter profile has several tabs ("Tweets" is the default). To create a reference to one of the other tabs (e.g., "Lists" or "Moments"), substitute that tab name for "Tweets" in the reference.
  • Include the notation "Twitter profile" in square brackets.

APA Style [@APA_Style]. (n.d.). Tweets [Twitter profile]. Twitter. Retrieved November 21, 2019, from

Parenthetical citation: (APA Style, n.d.)

Narrative citation: APA Style (n.d.)

Facebook Post

  • This format can be used for posts to other social media services, including Tumblr, LinkedIn, and so forth.
  • If a status updates includes images, videos, thumbnail links to outside sources, or content from another Facebook post (such as when sharing a link), indicate that in square brackets.
  • Replicate emojis if possible.

Gaiman, N. (2019, October 7). Each of us has a right to say #IBelong. (My grandfather came to England as a child, from Belgium, before [Video] [Status update]. Facebook.

National Institute of Mental Health. (2019, March 25). Do you know what to do if someone you care about is in danger of self-harm? Save this infographic and [Infographic]. Facebook.

Science. (2019, November 20). When honey bees fall into the water, they create waves with their wings and "surf" to safety [Thumbnail with link attached]. Facebook.

Parenthetical citations: (Gaiman, 2019; National Institute of Mental Health, 2019; Science, 2019)

Narrative citations: Gaiman (2019), National Institute of Mental Health (2019), and Science (2019)

Facebook Page

  • Use the page title in the reference (e.g., "Timeline," "Home," "Photos," "About").
  • Include the notation "Facebook page" in square brackets.
  • This format can be used or adapted for references to other platform or profile pages, including YouTube, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and so forth.

Smithsonian. (n.d.). Home [Facebook page]. Facebook. Retrieved November 21, 2019, from

Parenthetical citation: (Smithsonian, n.d.)

Narrative citation: Smithsonian (n.d.)

Instagram Photo or Video

The Metropolitan Opera [@metopera]. (2019, November 10). Audience favorites soprano @nadine.sierra and soprano Susanna Phillips star as Susanna and the Countess in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro [Photograph]. Instagram.

Parenthetical citation: (The Metropolitan Opera, 2019)

Narrative citation: The Metropolitan Opera (2019)

Instagram Highlight

  • Use "n.d." for the date; although each story within a highlight is dated, the highlight itself is not dated and may include stories from multiple dates.
  • Because a highlight can change at any time, include the retrieval date.
  • The URL may be long and complex. Either use the long form of the URL or use a URL shortener, such as Bitly.

Chicago Public Library [@chicagopubliclibrary]. (n.d.). #YOUmediaYear10 [Highlight]. Instagram. Retrieved November 21, 2019, from

Parenthetical citation: (Chicago Public Library, n.d.)

Narrative citation: Chicago Public Library (n.d.)

Online Forum Post

National Aeronautics and Space Administration [nasa]. (2018, September 12). I'm NASA astronaut Scott Tingle. Ask me anything about adjusting to being back on Earth after my first spaceflight! [Online forum post]. Reddit.

Parenthetical citation: (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2018)

Narrative citation: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (2018)