APA References: Online Media

APA References: Online Media

This guide is intended to provide instruction on how to create references for online sources that don’t have a physical representation. As such, this guide includes sample references for a variety of sources but is not a comprehensive list of every source that APA provides citation guidelines for.

  • Social Media
  • Webpages and Websites


This category refers to original content published via social media, like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and more. If you discovered original content through social media, there is no need to cite the social media post—just cite the original content directly.

For social media content, the reference structure is as follows:



  • For social media posts that contain text only, you can include up to the first 20 words of the post in the title element of your reference. For social media posts with audiovisual content, describe the audiovisual content in brackets after the title: [Image attached], [Animated gif attached], etc.


Webpages and websites refer to online sources that do not fit into any other categories. For example, if you are citing a press release on a company’s website, cite that source as a press release, not a webpage.

NOTE: Only use these examples if your source doesn’t fit into any of the previously mentioned groups or categories. Otherwise, your reference will be incorrect.

The reference structure for webpages and websites is as follows:



  • If there is no publication date or date of last update, use (n.d.).
  • If you are citing multiple webpages from a single website, create individual references for each webpage.
  • If you just mention a website in your essay, you do not need a citation or reference for that website. However, if you are quoting or paraphrasing material from a webpage or website, you must use in-text citations and references as appropriate.
  • If the webpage includes a specific date, including a month and day, use that information in your reference.
  • You only need to include a retrieval date in your reference if the content on the page is likely to change over time and no archive of individual webpages is available on the website.