Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

APA Citation Guide: Social Media

This guide shows you how to cite references in current (7th edition) APA style

Tips

Author

On sites where items are posted under user names but not necessarily proper names, enter the user name where you would normally put the author's name. Author in this case will be the main creator(s) for the item you are citing.

Creator information may often be found under a section called "About" for some types of social media, however this is not always standard.

Date

Most items will provide a date they were posted. The standard format for the date is Year, Month Day.

If only part of the date is provided, post what you have such as the year and skip the rest of the date.

If no date is provided, use the initials n.d. where you would normally put the date.

Blog Post

Author's Last Name, First intial. Second Initial if Given. or Username if real name not provided. (Year blog post was published, Month Day). Title of blog post. Title of Blog. URL

Example

Dobbs, D. (2020, June 13). Fun in cities: Feature, not bug. Wired Science. http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/ 2020/06/fun-in-cities-feature-not-bug/

Note: If the blog author's real name is not provided, use their username instead.

In-Text Paraphrase

(Author's Last Name, Year)

Example: (Dobbs, 2020)

In-Text Quote

(Author's Last Name, Year, Section Heading section if given)

Example: (Dobbs, 2020, para. 2)

Note: This blog post has no section headings, so only a paragraph number is given in the citation.

Mobile Application Software (App)

Name of Company that created the application or Creator's Last Name, First Initial. Second Initial if Given (Year current version of the application was released). Name of application (Version number if given) [Mobile application software]. Publisher Name or App Store. URL application used to retrieve app.

Note:

Only cite software and apps when they are not widely known or available. Citations are not needed for common apps such as YouTube or Twitter.

Example

National Geographic Society (2021). National parks by National Geographic (Version 1.2) [Mobile app]. App Store. http://www.apple.com/itunes/

In-Text Paraphrase

(Name of Company or Author's Last Name, Year)

Example: (National Geographic Society, 2021)

In-Text Quote

(Name of Company or Author's Last Name, Year)

Example: (National Geographic Society, 2021)

Note: Because apps typically do not have page numbers, paragraph numbers, or section headings, this information is left out of the in-text citation.

Podcast Episode

Director/Producer/Host's Last Name, First intial. Second Initial if Given. (Role in the production e.g. Host, Director, Producer) (Year podcast was released, Month Day if given). Title of podcast episode: Subtitle if given (episode number if known) [Audio podcast episode]. In Title of Podcast. Publisher. URL if known

Example

Rogers, S. (Host). (2020, June 18). Richard Wagamese: Children's book panel (No. 225) [Audio podcast episode]. In The Next Chapter. CBC. http://www.cbc.ca/thenextchapter/episode/2020/06/18/richard-wagamese-bookworm-childrens-book-panel/

In-Text Paraphrase

(Director/Producer/Host's Last Name, Year)

Example: (Rogers, 2020)

In-Text Quote

(Director/Producer/Host's Last Name, Year)

Example: (Rogers, 2020)

Note: Because podcasts do not have page numbers, paragraph numbers or section headings, this information is left out of the in-text citation.

Twitter (Tweets)

Author last name, First initial. Second initial if given [@Twitter user name]. (Year tweet was posted, Month Day). Text of post up to the first twenty words [Tweet]. Twitter. URL

Example

Giridharadas, A. [@AnandWrites]. (2020, January 17). The fallacy of our age is that we can lift up those down below without interfering with those standing [Tweet]. Twitter. https://twitter.com/AnandWrites/status/1218203291982749697

Note: Write out the actual text of the post in the citation and keep spelling, capitalization, and grammar the same as in the original, even if there are errors. Include any emojis that are present. If there is multimedia content, note it in square brackets after the post (eg. [Video]).

In-Text Paraphrase

(Last name, Year)

Example: (Giridharadas, 2020)

Note: if there is no author last name, use the name of the account as you would with a group author.

In-Text Quote

(Twitter user name, Year)

Example: (Giridharadas, 2020)

Note: Because tweets do not have page numbers, paragraph numbers, or section headings, this information is left out of the in-text citation.

Instagram Posts

Instagram posts for photograph or video follow the same formatting.

Author last name, First initial. Second initial if given [@username]. (Year item was posted, Month Day). Text of post up to the first twenty words [Post type Photograph or Video]. Instagram. URL

Example

Fox, M. J. [@realmikejfox]. (2020, June 5). It takes < than a min to learn how to save a life. Watch the video at handsonly.nyc #ICanSaveALife with #HandsOnlyCPR [Photograph]. Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/p/BjppDLDBxRF/

EarthPix. [@earthpix]. (2019, January 8). Snow train ride in Lago Bianco Switzerland  by @yingxingdelia [Video]. Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/p/BsY81cZlVLJ/

Note: Write out the actual text of the post in the citation and keep spelling, capitalization, and grammar the same as in the original, even if there are errors. Include any emojis that are present.

In-Text Paraphrase

(Last name, Year)

Example: (Fox, 2020)

Note: if there is no author last name, use the name of the account as you would with a group author.

In-Text Quote

(Instagram user name, Year)

Example: (EarthPix, 2019)

Note: Because Instagram posts do not have page numbers, paragraph numbers, or section headings, this information is left out of the in-text citation.

 

 

TikTok References

The format used for TikTok is the same as that of Instagram and Twitter.

Example

Cook, P. [@chemteacherphil]. (2019, November 19). Alkali salts get lit. #chemistry #chemteacherphil #scienceexperiments #foryou #jobforme #trend #featurethis #science #vibecheck [Video]. TikTok. https://vm.tiktok.com/xP1r1m

Washington Post [@washingtonpost]. (2019, December 3). News is all around us #frozen #newsroom #newspaper [Video]. TikTok. https://vm.tiktok.com/x2sKUu

Note: Write out the actual text of the post in the citation and keep spelling, capitalization, and grammar the same as in the original, even if there are errors. Include any emojis that are present.

In-Text Paraphrase

(Last name, Year)

Example: (Cook, 2019) 

Example: As Cook (2019) demonstrates...

Note: if there is no author last name, use the name of the account as you would with a group author.

In-Text Quote

(TikTok user name, Year)

Example: (Washington Post, 2019)

Note: Because TikToks do not have page numbers, paragraph numbers, or section headings, this information is left out of the in-text citation.

Other Media

Online media are covered in Sections 10.15 and 10.16 of the Publication Manual.

The general format follows the social media content template found on page 348.

The APA Style website also has an excellent page on Facebook and LinkedIn references.