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APA Style Guide: Social Media

Social Media Websites

Material Type           In-text Citation              Reference                                                        

Social Media Websites include Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, Instagram, etc. You may want to cite examples or mention these popular sites in a research paper, but most likely you will not use these sites exclusively in a research paper.


If you refer to a website in general in the text of your paper, you only need to give the URL to the homepage in-text; a full reference at the end is not necessary.

The microblogging website, Twitter ( is popular among younger people and celebrities.


No end reference is needed if the site is mentioned and the URL is given in the text of the paper.                                                 

Citing a post or message that the reader cannot access due to privacy constraints.

A. M. Raulson (personal communication, January 28, 2013) says...

(T. J. Mavin, personal communication, April 15, 2013).                     

Personal communications are cited in-text, no end reference is necessary. Give the author's name and the date for the communication.


Citing a social media post or tweet in-text and at the end of the paper in the reference list. (Rouhani, 2013).

Rouhani, H. [@HassanRouhani]. (2013, October 01). Evening, @Jack. As I told @camanpour, my efforts geared 2 ensure my ppl'll comfortably b able 2 access all info globally as is their #right. [Tweet]. Retrieved from

Give the author's (or organization's) name as you normally would. Follow this by their "handle" or screen name for the social media site, enclose this extra information in square brackets. Give the date of the post with as much detail as is given, followed by the post's title (up to 40 words). Follow this with an explanation of what type of social media the post is, in square brackets; i.e. Tweet, Facebook Post, Instagram Picture, etc. Click on the post's time stamp to get the most stable URL for the item.