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APA Style Guide, 7th Edition: Social Media

The most current edition of APA style guide

Formatting your References

Once you type your references on the reference page, you will need to put in a hanging indent and double-space the entire reference list. In Microsoft Word, highlight the references from A to Z, then find the paragraph function in the Word ribbon. Select Hanging under Indentation and Double under spacing. See the Formatting your References tab for instructions on doing this on a Mac or in Google Docs.


Abbas, D. D. F. (2020). Manipulating of audio-visual aids in the educational processes in Al-Hilla University College. International Journal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation, 24(3), 1248-1263.

The citation above may not indicate a hanging indent depending on the device you are using to view it.  The second and all subsequent lines of APA formatted references use a hanging indent.

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].

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.