How to Create APA Social Media Citations

This article will guide you through the process of creating APA citations for various types of social media content.


When citing social media content in APA format, it’s important to consider the following elements:

  • Author details – the first step in creating a citation is to identify the author or authors of the social media post. This can be an individual person, a group of individuals, or an organization. If there is an individual author, start with their last name followed by their initials (e.g., Watson, V.). If there is no individual author, use the name of the organization or the username of the individual as the author.
  • Publication date – provide the publication date of the content in parentheses. Include the year, month (abbreviated), and day (in that order) if available. If the date is not available, use (n.d.) for no date.
  • Title of the post – enclose the text of the social media post. Or a brief description of the post within square brackets. Use italics (Do not italicize emojis) and sentence case for the title, capitalizing the first word and any proper nouns.
  • Describe the type – when a post contains videos, images, external source thumbnail links, or content from another post e.g., sharing a link, make sure to mark these in square brackets.
  • Social media platform – mention the name of the social media platform. For example, if the content is from Twitter, write ‘Twitter’. This indicates where the content was published.
  • URL – provide the direct URL to the specific post, if it’s publicly accessible. This allows your readers to access the original content. If the content is not publicly accessible or if you are citing a private profile or a closed group, provide the URL of the user’s profile or the main page of the organization or group where the content was published.

Be consistent: Ensure that your citations are consistently formatted throughout your paper or project. This includes using the same style for square brackets to indicate post types, and keeping the same order for elements like author, date, post type, platform, and URL.

Consider context: When citing social media posts, think about how the source fits into your research or argument. It should contribute to your work in a meaningful way and provide relevant information or context.


Citing X post in APA format requires several key elements, such as the author’s name, X handle, publication date, and a post title limited to the first 20 words. If there’s a picture or video, say so like [Image attached]. Finish with [Post]. Acknowledge X as the hosting site and the inclusion of the full post URL.

Harry, J. [@Harlan]. (2023, October 31). Happy Halloween! Have a spooktacular day! #Halloween2023 [Image attached] [Post]. X.


Citing a Facebook post in APA style involves the author’s last name and first initial, followed by the publication date in parentheses. Enclose the post text in italics and specify Facebook post in brackets. Indicate that the content was published on Facebook as the social media platform. Include the URL of the specific post.

National Geographic. (2023, October 31). Wishing everyone a fantastic Halloween filled with amazing adventures! [Facebook post]. Facebook.


When citing an Instagram post in APA format, include the author’s last name and first initial (if available). Place the publication date in parentheses. Add the post text in italics, specify Instagram post in brackets and specify Instagram as the platform. Include the URL of the post.

@nasa. (2023, October 31). Spooky space – A mesmerizing view of the cosmos on this Halloween night! [Instagram post]. Instagram.


Citing a YouTube video requires mentioning the author’s last name and first initial (if available), followed by the upload date in parentheses. Enclose the video title in italic, specify video in brackets and YouTube as the platform. Include the URL of the video.

TED. (2023, October 31). How to Save Our Planet: The Power of Renewable Energy | John Doe | TED Talk [Video]. YouTube.


To cite a LinkedIn post in APA format, include the author’s last name and first initial. Place the publication date in parentheses, add the post text in title as italic, specify LinkedIn post in brackets and state LinkedIn as the platform. Include the URL of the post.

Elon Musk. (2023, October 31). SpaceX’s latest mission is a success! [LinkedIn post]. LinkedIn.


When citing Reddit posts in APA style, use the author’s last name and first initial (if available). Include the post date in parentheses and the post title in italics. Specify Reddit post in brackets and Reddit as the platform, include the URL of the post.

ScienceEnthusiast. (2022, April 12). New Study Reveals
Breakthrough in Quantum Computing [Reddit post]. Reddit.


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Tomas Elliott (Ph.D.)

Tomas Elliott is an assistant Professor of English at Northeastern University London. His research specialisms include the history of theatre and film, European modernism, world literature, film adaptation, transmedia studies and citation practices. He read English and French Literature at Trinity College, Oxford, before completing a PhD in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory at the University of Pennsylvania.

Learn how to cite in APA