Instagram to Twitter Shortcut: Easily Tweet Instagram Photos with IFTTT

Twitter and Instagram broke up in December. No longer could we easily post photos to Twitter via the Instagram app.  But now there is an easy way to bring back the love between Instagram and Twitter – this post shows you how to have your Instagram images show up instantly on your Twitter Feed and in the slideshow of images in the Media Gallery.   

In December, 2012, Instagram removed support for “Twitter Cards”.  This initially left Twitter users with just a cropped version of the original, beautiful Instagram image.  It seemed to be a new way of forcing Twitter users to click through to the web version of instagram in order to see the full image. It also meant that images no longer automatically posted to the Media Gallery on Twitter – a change from the easy integration that we were all so used to.  

Fortunately, along came  an easy workaround for the “issues” between Instagram and Twitter –

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It's called If This Then That (or ITTT for those of you familiar with it!).

The workaround is super simple to set up and will mean that you can go on enjoying simple, clean integration between Instragram and Twitter, and:

  • have your image show up right within the newsfeed using the view/hide function
  • your image shows up in the media gallery so now you can scroll through images easily
IFTTT Screenshot - Twitter
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IFTTT Screenshot - Twitter
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An image shared directly from Instagram offers no option to “View photo” within Twitter – sharing via IFTTT does!

How to set up Instagram to Twitter feed using IFTTT
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How to set up Instagram to Twitter feed using IFTTT
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And the image is back where it is meant to be – posting to the Twitter newsfeed with ease!

Let's keep this post short and useful. Here are two posts from Dave Kerpen at Likeable Media and Techcrunch explaining the workaround.  It involves setting up a “recipe” on the site If This Then That, which automatically posts your instagram image to Twitter, allowing Twitter followers to see it within the newsfeed and posts it to the image gallery.

If you have not yet signed up for a IFTTT account, then check out the posts above and do the following easy steps to get the recipe/workaround sorted.

  • set up your IFTTT account.  
  • Connect your Instagram and Twitter accounts (give permission)
  • Create the recipe – as simple as copying this one (or follow the links in the posts above).
  • set up your “tag” – the standard tag that you will enter into each instagram image to trigger the recipe.  I chose to use #twitter as it is something I will remember – but you can make it shorter (ie #tw) or use whatever tag you want!

Voila!  You are set up. Start adding your tag to your instagram photos and it will post to Twitter like this (as a native image with a card – ie your followers will be able to open the photo from within Instagram and see it in all of its awesome filtered glory)!  

Just One Thing Before You Go:  

Be mindful of the length of your posts – if you are going to share them across to Twitter like this, you have about 96 characters before your description is “cut off”. Keep it short and keep it tidy for best effect!

Oh and just one more thing – make sure that you click the share to Twitter button when you finalise your Instagram Photo – this also posts a separate tweet that has the Instagram link (if you only want to post to Twitter and not share your Instagram link then leave this step out).  You will just have the post with the Twitpic in it and there will not be a separate tweet with a link to the actual Instagram post.


Do you post images to Twitter? Did you stop when the changes happened at the end of 2012?  If you are on Instagram, leave your Instagram name below so we can connect and follow you!  

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Donna Moritz

Visual Social Media Strategist at Socially Sorted
Donna is a Visual Content Strategist and founder of Socially Sorted, listed by Forbes as a "Top 5 Social Media Blog You Need to Know About". Donna helps brands leverage the power of visual storytelling and content strategy in their business. Her content has been featured in publications such as Forbes, Inc. & Entrepreneur and she is a speaker and trainer on visual content for the marketing and tourism industries internationally.

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