A few years ago, Instagram and Twitter got into a showdown in the way that big tech companies often do. Instagram didn’t want their photos shared on Twitter’s streams anymore, instead just inserting a boring old link to the Instagram photo page instead.
And nobody is going to click a boring link…
Pretty petty, and honestly effective. I can’t think of a short ~100 character title that is going to get me to click on an Instagram link, just to see a single square photo. And that was the point.
But of course, as travelers who use social media and take photos… it’s a drag. I just want people to see (and share) my photos, and I don’t care about any social media rivalry between a couple of companies with inflated, multi-billion dollar valuations.
With the help of the service IFTTT (which stands for “If this, then that”), we can share your photos in the way that you meant to. Once set up, every time you add a photo to Instagram, IFTTT will automatically take the photo and caption, and share them on your Twitter feed.
Sign up For a Free Account at IFTTT
Head on over to IFTTT.com and sign up for an account. You’ll receive an e-mail you’ll need to confirm your account, so be on the lookout for that.
Activate Accounts and Add Your Recipe
IFTTT uses something called a recipe to tell it what to do. Think of it a little like “when we do THIS, we want THAT to happen.”
In our case, we’ll be using one that has already been made to make our job a little easier. You’ll be allowing IFTTT to have access to your Instagram and Twitter accounts.
Click this link “Post your Instagram photos as native Twitter photos.” Click “Activate Instagram” and “Activate Twitter,” follow the prompts and “Add Recipe”
Edit Your Recipe
Now that we have our recipe, we want to make a little edit. By default, this recipe will add a link that will go to your Instagram page with the image, which I think is redundant. I don’t want to send followers somewhere else, I just want to show them the photo. Plus, the link will take up valuable space in your 140 characters.
On the recipe page, scroll down to ACTION. In the first box, “What’s Happening” we only want to see “Caption” and where it says Image URL we only want to see “SourceUrl”
What It’s Going To Do
Now, each time you share a photo on Instagram, it will automatically share on Twitter within 15 minutes or so. There’s no need to click Twitter under share in Instagram — that would only share the link as before.
I’d say that after this, my photos get several times more retweets and favorites than before, and certainly many more times eyeballs on my work. And it’s all about those eyes on social media… that’s the point!