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APA 7th Referencing Style Guide

Citing social media

Cite only original content from social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit etc. If you want to cite content from a social media post or account that is not the original source of the content, cite it directly. For example, if you find a Facebook post that links to a blog, cite the blog not the Facebook post. 

  • Social media posts may include text, images and audiovisual content
  • Do not alter the spelling and capitalisation in a social media reference
  • Retain hashtags, links and emojis (if possible)
  • If you cannot create the emoji, provide the name of the emoji in square brackets e.g. [face with tears of joy emoji]. The full list of names can be found on the Unicode Consortium's website

Reference format

Author Date Title

Social media site name


Twitter and Instagram: 
Author, A. A. [@username].
Name of Group [@username].

Facebook and others:
Author, A. A.
Name of Group.
Name of Group [Username].


(2019, August 8).

Content of the post up 
to the first 20 words.

Content of the post up
to the first 20 words
[Description of audiovisuals].

[Description of audiovisuals]. 

Site name.


Retrieved August
27, 2020, from



Ardern, J. [@jacindaardern]. (2018, October 15). I salute you, @Kereru4PM #BirdOfTheYear [Tweet]. Twitter.

Cher [@cher]. (2019, October 15). Trump Brags About Serving Up American Troops to Saudi Arabia for Nothing More Than Cash via @YahooEnt [Thumbnail with link attached] [Tweet]. Twitter.

Figure.NZ [@figurenz]. (2019, October 15). Looking forward to resting up over the holidays? [sleeping face emoji] [beach with umbrella emoji] NZ #Health Survey figures show about 70% of adults meet sleep duration... [Image attached] [Tweet]. Twitter.

  • If the tweet includes images (including GIFs), videos, thumbnail links to outside sources, links to other tweets (i.e. a retweet with comment) or a poll, indicate that in square brackets
  • For tweet replies, do not include the "replying to" information. If it is important to note, mention it in your writing and provide an in-text citation
  • Replicate emojis if possible. If not, provide the CLDR short name from the Unicode Emoji List in square brackets

Twitter profile

RNZ [@radionz]. (n.d.). Tweets [Twitter profile]. Twitter. Retrieved January 15, 2020, from

  • Provide a retrieval date because the contents of the page can change over time
  • Twitter profiles have several tabs. "Tweets" is the default, so to create a reference to one of the other tabs, substitute that tab name for "Tweets" in the reference


Find how to cite in text on the In-text citation page.


Facebook post

New Zealand Geographic. (2020, January 15). Check out all the #NZVR experiences at Mike Holmes pulls shortfin eels from a fyke net under the watchful... [Video]. Facebook.

World Health Organization. (2020, January 15). Urgent health challenges for the next decade: [exclamation mark emoij] Elevating health in the climate debate. The climate crisis is a health crisis... [Image attached] [Facebook post]. Facebook.

Facebook page

New Zealand Fashion Museum. (n.d.). Home [Facebook page]. Facebook. Retrieved January 15, 2020 from

  • Use the page title in the reference (e.g., "Home", "Timeline", "About", "Photos")
  • This format can be adapted for references to other social media pages such as Tumblr, LinkedIn, Instagram etc.


Find how to cite in text on the In-text citation page.


Instagram photo or video

New Zealand Police [newzealandpolice]. (2019, November 15). Class of 2019 // Wellington dog section [paw prints emoji] #fridayfloof [Photograph]. Instagram.

Instagram highlight

AUT Library [aut_library]. (n.d.). Spooky films [Highlight]. Instagram. Retrieved January 20, 2020, from

  • Even though stories within the highlight are dated, the highlight itself is not and contains multiple stories so use n.d. for the date 
  • Include the retrieval date as the highlight may change over time


Find how to cite in text on the In-text citation page.


LinkedIn post

Auckland University of Technology. (2020, June 9). #AUTuni will become New Zealand's first university to offer a postgraduate paper on #medicinalcannabis [Thumbnail with link attached] [Post]. LinkedIn.  

  • Use the name associated with the account as the name in the reference. 
  • LinkedIn does not provide exact dates for posts; rather, it tells users how long ago the post was made. Use the date information provided on the post to infer as specific a date as possible for the reference.


LinkedIn profile

Auckland University of Technology. (n.d). Home [LinkedIn page]. LinkedIn. Retrieved June 11, 2020, from 

  • Use the page title in the reference (e.g., “Home,” “About,” “Jobs”). 
  • Include the notation “[LinkedIn page]” in square brackets after the title. 
  • Provide a retrieval date because the content is designed to change over time and is not archived




Find Find how to cite in text on the In-text citation page.

Online forum post

-Endless. (2020, January 15). I think as a country we need to start a dialogue on fresh water ownership [Online forum post]. Reddit.  

  • If the real name and username are both known, provide the real name first followed by the username in square brackets, like the Instagram examples. Don't include "u/" at the start of the username


Find how to cite in text on the In-text citation page.

Blog post

Using the same format for citing newspaper or magazine articles. 

Martinko, K. (2019, November 22). Burger King is running out of zesty sauce because of climate change. TreeHugger.

  • Include (Year, Month Date).