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 & Formatting : Social Media

Attention Students!

This guide is a starting point only. For full details on correctly citing resources and creating references, please consult the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th ed. (2020).

It is important to remember that Library staff do not teach APA, and will not evaluate or correct work. If you need help with APA Style, contact your instructor, or contact the Student Success Hub to request a meeting with a peer tutor or the Writing Clinic.

How Do I Cite Social Media?

Below are some best practices for citing social media content (10.15):

  • If social media is used to discover content, cite the content directly, e.g.: when citing a blog post that was found via Twitter, cite the work as a blog post. There is no need to mention that the work was discovered via Twitter.
  • Include the text of a social media post up to the first 20 words. 
  • Note the presence of any audio-visual content in square brackets, e.g.: [Tweet].
  • Social media content might contain nonstandard spelling and capitalization, links, emojis, and hashtags. Do not alter the spelling and capitalization in a social media reference. Retain hashtags and links as they appear. Emojis can be replicated, or a desctiption in square brackets can be provided, e.g: [winking smiling face emoji]. 

undefined

Reference List Entry: Format (10.15)
Author, A.  [@username]. (Date). Content of the post up to the first 20 words [Description of audiovisuals]. Site Name. URL

Example:
Loyalist Library [@LoyalistLibrary]. (May 23, 2020). Are you a @LoyalistCollege instructor teaching in the spring/ summer 2020 semester? With the first six weeks being taught online. . . [Illustration of open educational resources]. Twitter. https://twitter.com/LoyalistLibrary/status/1253402755449917440 

Parenthetical Citation 
(Author, Date), e.g.: (Loyalist Library, 2020)

Narrative Citation 
Author (Date), e.g.: Loyalist Library (2020)

undefined

Reference List Entry: Format (10.15)
Author, A. (Date). Content of the post up to the first 20 words [Description of audiovisuals]. Site Name. URL

Example:
Loyalist College (February 13, 2020). The Work Your Wardrobe event is happening on Wednesday, February 19 from 11 am – 1 pm in the Dining Hall. [Image attached]. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/loyalistcollege/photos/a.518227028224854/2789978207716380/?type=3&theater

Parenthetical Citation 
(Author, Date), e.g.: (Loyalist College, 2020)

Narrative Citation 
Author (Date), e.g.: Loyalist College (2020)

undefined

Citing a Facebook page differs from citing a Facebook post in a few ways (10.15):

  • Pages may change or be updated, so include a retrieval date before the URL.
  • Include the notation "Facebook page" in square brackets following the date.
  • Use the page title in the reference list entry if necessary, e.g.: "Timeline", "Home", "Photos", "About", etc.

Reference List Entry: Format (10.15)
Name of Group. (n.d.). Page name [Description]. Site Name. Retrieval date. URL

Example:
Loyalist College. (n.d). Home [Facebook page]. Facebook. Retrieved May 1, 2020. https://www.facebook.com/pg/loyalistcollege

Parenthetical Citation 
(Page Name, n.d.), e.g.: (Loyalist College, n.d.)

Narrative Citation 
Page Name (n.d.), e.g.: Loyalist College (n.d.)

undefined

Reference List Entry: Format (10.15)
Author, A. [@username] OR Name of Group [@username]. (Date). Content of the post up the the first 20 words. [Description or audiovisuals]. Site Name. URL

Example:
Loyalist College Library [@LoyalistLibrary]. (January 6, 2020). It's a brand new year, and we've got stacks of brand new books to get your started on your 2020. [Photographs]. Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/p/B6-6UJaAX4o/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Remember! Information may be located elsewhere on a page. It is important to read thoroughly in order to find all of the information required for the reference list entry. 

Parenthetical Citation 
(Author OR Name of Group, Date), e.g.: (Loyalist College Library, 2020)

Narrative Citation 
Author OR Name of Group (Date), e.g.: Loyalist College Library (2020)

Citing Instagram Highlights differs slightly from citing Instagram posts in the following ways (10.15):

  • "n.d." is used in place of a 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, it is necessary to include a retrieval date.
  • URLs for highlights can be long, and it is permissible to use an appropriate URL shortener (9.36). Ensure that the URL works before including it in the reference list entry.

Reference List Entry: Format (10.15)
Author, A. [@username] OR Name of Group [@username]. (n.d.). Content of the post up the the first 20 words. [Description or audiovisuals]. Site Name. Retrieval date, URL

Example:
Loyalist College Library [@LoyalistLibrary]. (January 6, 2020). New books in the library [Highlight]. Instagram. Retrieved May 1, 2020, from https://www.instagram.com/p/B6-6UJaAX4o/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Parenthetical Citation 
(Author OR Name of Group, n.d.), e.g.: (Loyalist College Library, n.d.)

Narrative Citation 
Author OR Name of Group (n.d.), e.g.: Loyalist College Library (n.d.)

Reference List Entry: Format (10.15)
Author, A. [username] OR Name of Group [username]. (Date). Content of the post up the the first 20 words. [Description]. Site Name. URL

Example:
Kapelos, V. [cbcnews]. (September 17, 2019). Hello, I’m Vassy Kapelos, the host of Power & Politics on CBC News Network. Ask me anything! [Online forum post]. Reddit. https://reddit.com/r/canada/comments/d6gjav/im_vassy_kapelos_host_of_power_politics_on_cbc/  

Parenthetical Citation 
(Author, Date), e.g.: (Kapelos, 2019)

Narrative Citation 
Author (Date), e.g.: Kapelos (2019)

Please Note!

This guide is based on the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th ed. (2020). Library staff have reviewed the information in this guide, and to the best of our knowledge, it is accurate. However, mistakes do occur. Students bear sole responsibility for ensuring that their citations are correct, and that their assignments meet the criteria laid out by their instructor. Students are encouraged to contact Peer Tutoring or the Writing Clinic for assistance.