Regular users of photo sharing app Instagram will already know how you go about connecting it to Facebook and Twitter so you can post your photos and share them out to the two largest social networking websites. For those who don’t know, we’ll show you how in just a moment.
However, regular Instagram users may also know of the limitations in sharing photos to Twitter from Instagram.
When sharing photos from Instagram to Facebook (whether it’s to your own personal profile or to a Facebook Page for business purposes) the process works really well, with the Instagram photos displayed beautifully within your feed, and even added to your Facebook gallery. Twitter is not so slick.
With Twitter, when you share a photo from Instagram it shows up as a link to Instagram in your tweet, so your Twitter followers have to click the link in order to be taken to Instagram to see the photo. It used to work better, with the photo being displayed within your tweet, but the support for ‘Twitter Cards’ was removed some time ago. Alas, the two websites no longer communicate as they once did.
Instagram photos shared to Twitter now look like this:
— Online Learning Acad (@OLAlearning) February 15, 2016
Perhaps this is something to do with Instagram now being owned by Facebook and Twitter not being too happy about it. Maybe we’re reading too much into it, but the offshoot is that you can no longer have your Instagram photos shared in a tweet – unless, of course, you know a workaround – which we do.
OK, let’s start with the basics: connecting your Instagram account with Facebook and Twitter. If you’ve already done this you can skip ahead, and we’ll catch you up.
This part’s really easy, but you will need to know your Twitter and Facebook login details (we say this because most people log in once on the app and never need to use them again).
1 – Open your Instagram app
2 – Click on your profile on the bottom right of the screen
3 – Click on the cog icon on the top right of the screen, to go to your options page
4 – Scroll down to ‘Settings’ > ‘Linked Accounts’ and click it
5- You will see a list of other social networking websites, headed up by Facebook and Twitter. To link each one, you need to click on them one at a time. Click on Twitter
6 – Once you click on them, you are taken to a login page for that account. Enter your login details for either Twitter or Facebook and click ‘Authorise App’
7 – Repeat for Facebook
That’s it – Instagram is now linked to both Twitter and Facebook. When you post a photo to Instagram, you can now select if you also want it to push out to Twitter and/or Facebook by pressing their icons.
How to embed Instagram photos in a tweet on Twitter
Now, the tricky part – how do you get Twitter to display the photo properly in a tweet, and not just as a link to Instagram?
You actually need to use a third party website called ifttt.com (If This Then That). It’s completely free, and very easy to set up. It uses things called ‘recipes’, but don’t worry – no cooking is required. Here’s how you do it:
- Using your browser, log in to both Instagram and Twitter
- Visit the ifttt.com website
- Create an account (you just need an email address and a password)
- Select three of the things you’re interested in – Instagram and Twitter should be two of them to make it easier, and you could select Facebook as the third if you can’t choose anything else
- You now need a ‘recipe’ to post from Instagram to Twitter – you can create your own or use an existing one. This one has 29,000 users at time of writing, so is a good one to use
- Click the big blue ‘Add’ button
- It will ask you to connect your Instagram and Twitter accounts by clicking on their icons. Click on each one and click the ‘Authorise App’ buttons
- The recipe will suggest that your Instagram photos are shared on Twitter whenever the #Twitter tag is used. You can change this to a shorter one, but this makes sense as it’s easy to remember
That’s it – you can now post a photo to Instagram and have it displayed on Twitter properly whenever you use the #Twitter in your Instagram post and select the ‘share to Twitter’ button. Your Instagram photo will now look something like this in your tweet:
— Engage Web (@EngageWeb) February 11, 2016
A word of caution
One thing to remember, however, is that Twitter is capped at 140 characters per tweet. Adding a photo to Twitter uses 22 characters, as does a link. With a photo and link, you’ll be restricted to 96 additional characters for your text, which will then cut off on Twitter if you go above that on your Instagram post.
Have a play about with it and see for yourself.
If you liked this tip and want more Twitter-related advice and strategy, have a look at our Twitter for Business Marketing Diploma Course. The course is £295, but readers of our blog can download it for just £29 when they use the discount code TWEET29.
Do you want to go from Twitter novice to Twitter expert? Do you want your Twitter profile to pick up thousands of followers and receive regular engagements from each of your tweets? Do you want to get business from Twitter?
Do let us know what you thought about this Instagram to Twitter tip in the comments below.