Date/​Time, Numbers and Addresses

Dates should be for­mat­ted as day, month, year” if the audi­ence is inter­na­tion­al, or month, day, year” if you’ll only have U.S. readers.

  • Don’t include st,” nd,” rd” or th.” Simply put, it’s July 1,” not July 1st.” (Pro tip: num­bers writ­ten like 1st” are called ordi­nal num­bers. They’re gen­er­al­ly a no-no.)
  • You don’t need a com­ma when writ­ing just a month and year (July 2020). If you include a day, be sure to set off the year with a com­ma (July 1, 2020). Don’t include com­mas for our inter­na­tion­al date for­mat (1 July 2020).
  • Abbreviate January, February, August, September, October, November and December when writ­ing a spe­cif­ic date (Nov. 1, 2020). When you aren’t indi­cat­ing a spe­cif­ic date, write out the full month (November 2020).
  • If you’re real­ly pressed for space, you can abbre­vi­ate days of the week and months to three let­ters. End abbre­vi­a­tions with a peri­od, except for when you’re writ­ing with­in the prod­uct.
  • Always use numer­als for years; nev­er spell them out.
  • When express­ing decades or cen­turies, add the let­ter s” with­out an apos­tro­phe. Only use an apos­tro­phe before fig­ures for decades when numer­als are left out (e.g., the 90s).

Dates can vary for inter­na­tion­al audi­ences — see more about inter­na­tion­al­iza­tion.

September 28th, 2020

Don’t use ordinal numbers in dates.

7 January 2020

Do format dates as day, month, year for international audiences.

Most of the AP Style rules still apply here, but with less space, it’s more like­ly you’ll have to abbre­vi­ate days and months.

  • Use three-let­ter abbre­vi­a­tions with no peri­ods (every pix­el counts!).
  • Even if space is tight, nev­er short­en the year. It could get con­fused with the actu­al day.
  • Even though num­bers-only for­mats for dates are short­er, avoid them. There could be con­fu­sion when local­iza­tion rearranges the order. Plus, place­hold­er zeroes get tricky.

Oct. 6, ‘20

In product copy, don’t shorten years or use abbreviations with periods.

Oct 6, 2020

In product copy, do abbreviate months without periods.

To be as clear as pos­si­ble about the time you mean, fol­low these rules:

  • Use low­er­case let­ters and peri­ods to dif­fer­en­ti­ate between a.m. and p.m. times.
  • Don’t include colons for times on the hour.
  • Avoid yes­ter­day” or tomor­row.” Use the spe­cif­ic day of the week instead.

Time for­mat­ting can change for inter­na­tion­al audi­ences — check out our inter­na­tion­al­iza­tion guide­lines.

3:00pm

Don’t use colons for exact hour times.

3 p.m.

Do differentiate times with a.m. and p.m.

Only include the time zone when the time per­tains to a spe­cif­ic loca­tion or event that might not be local. Don’t include S(tandard) or D(aylight) in the time zone — it’s easy to get the two con­fused over the course of a year, so bet­ter to leave it out.

For the sake of space when express­ing time, drop the peri­ods in a.m. and p.m and elim­i­nate the space after the last dig­it, but make sure you still always include am or pm. Also, don’t use a 24-hour for­mat — this will help dis­tin­guish the time of day from some­thing like the dura­tion of a video.

Oct 25, 7:30 p.m.

In product copy, don’t include periods and for am and pm.

Oct 25, 7:30pm

In product copy, do use am and pm in every instance.

For items that have a longer life span with­in the prod­uct, like feed cards and exchanges, it’s impor­tant to clear­ly com­mu­ni­cate when some­thing was cre­at­ed or shared. Each time­stamp should be exact — don’t include about” before them.

  • New with­in the hour, use ago”: 13 min­utes ago.
  • Shared or cre­at­ed that day: 2:16pm.
  • Shared or cre­at­ed yes­ter­day: Yesterday at 2:16pm.
  • New with­in the last week: Wednesday at 2:16pm.
  • At least one week old, but less than a month: Mar 6, 2:16pm.
  • At least one month old, but less than a year: Mar 6.
  • One year or old­er: Mar 6, 2020.

We’re a video and data com­pa­ny, so we need to express the time dura­tion of videos and clips often. Here are the guide­lines for how we approach this:

  • Always include the dig­its for min­utes and sec­onds. Hour dig­its are not required until the video or user activ­i­ty hits the hour mark.
  • Include a zero as the minute dig­it for dura­tions less than six­ty seconds.
  • Durations under 10 min­utes can be dis­played as a sin­gle minute digit.
  • Milliseconds aren’t required and shouldn’t be used in any sta­t­ic dis­plays of time. If you’re using mil­lisec­onds for elapsed time as the video plays, use a peri­od instead of a colon.
  • Never use h,” m” or s” for hours, min­utes and sec­onds. Stick to the colon format.

59s

00:08:14

1:23:15:41

Don’t use zero placeholders.

0:59

8:14

1:23:15.41

Do always include minutes and seconds.

Write out num­bers one through nine, and use numer­als for 10 or high­er. (You can use numer­als for num­bers under 10 when writ­ing address­es, ages, mon­e­tary val­ues, dates, times, sizes/​dimensions, per­cent­ages, speeds or temperatures.)

  • When using age as an adjec­tive phrase before a noun, use hyphens. Drop them if the noun comes first.
    • My 34-year-old friend remains impres­sive­ly athletic.
    • My friend is 34 years old.
  • Thousands,” mil­lions” and bil­lions” may be short­ened to K,” M” and B” when dis­played in a graph­ic treatment.
  • For per­cent­ages, use the % sign, no space, paired with a numeral.

The average number of home runs per game increased 15% this season.

  • Avoid start­ing sen­tences with a num­ber, unless ref­er­enc­ing a year.

1977 was the last year the Minnesota Vikings went to the Super Bowl.

  • Finally, when talk­ing quan­ti­ties, it’s always more than,” not over.”

We have more than 10 million users.

Twenty-eight teams competed.

Don’t spell out numbers 10 or higher.

Nine players were paid $12 million.

Do spell out numbers one through nine.

Write out all gener­ic parts of street names (avenue, north, road) when you’re not talk­ing about a spe­cif­ic address. Otherwise, include a street num­ber, and abbre­vi­ate avenue (Ave.), boule­vard (Blvd.), street (St.) and direc­tion­al parts of street names.

Also, heads up! State abbre­vi­a­tions dif­fer from postal ser­vice abbreviations.

  • Nebraska is short­ened to Neb.” instead of NE.”

Most of them live on that St.

Don’t generally abbreviate parts of street names.

They live at 202 Federal St.

Do use approved abbreviations for specific addresses.

Here’s an excep­tion to AP Style. When refer­ring to spe­cif­ic address­es in UI copy, use postal abbre­vi­a­tions to save space.

70 Federal St.

Lincoln, Neb. 02210

In product copy don’t use AP Style abbreviations with periods.

70 Federal St

Lincoln, NE 02210

In product copy, do use postal abbreviations.

Last Updated: 26 May 2020 at 2:35pm CDT