Turn Instagram Links into Twitter Pics with IFTTT

Turn Instagram links into Twitter pics with this awesome app!

UPDATE 12/16/14: A new recipe has been developed that not only sends a native image to Twitter from Instagram, but also attaches a URL linking back to the original Instagram image/page. The main drawback with this recipe is that it posts every single time, whereas the recipe below only posts to Twitter (without a link) when a hashtag is used. Here is the newer recipe.

Sometimes a platform, tool or site comes along that blows me away by the dynamic ability and the promise it holds. This kind of stuff makes me really fall in love with the promise of the Internet all over again. (Can you tell what a social media nerd I am?) IFTTT is that kind of platform. It has hundreds of amazing and really cool actions, or 'recipes' as they're referred to.

So what is IFTTT is exactly? It stands for If This Then That, and they bill themselves as: "a service that lets you create powerful connections with one simple statement." And they couldn't be more correct.

Today I'm going to show you a trick using IFTTT, Instagram, and Twitter to make your business and personal social media move a little quicker and smoother. (TEASER: I'm going to share another IFTTT action next week for Facebook)

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Turn Instagram Links Into Twitter Cards

At one point Twitter used to render Instagram images as Twitter Cards, and not just simply Instagram links. Instagram changed this in the summer of 2012, to keep users within the native site. Makes sense for a product, but is kind of a drag for us which I explain below. But thanks to IFTTT, we've now got a workaround.

IFTTT has a smart recipe that works by adding a simple hashtag to the copy of your Instagram image it will render your image as a Twitter card.


Why does it matter?

The simple fact is that people hang out on platforms, or ecosystems if you want to get into jargon -- and don't necessarily want to leave that platform unless the pull is too great. ie: an exciting article, a cat video, a cat picture, a cat meme. You get what I'm saying. The issue with seeing Instagram links flying through your stream, is that unless that person is known for great content on that vertical or are showing something truly amazing like Bey and Blue - the click through rate is slim and not consistent.

But we all know your pics are great! And of course you want to share them, and obviously you want people to see them immediately. That's where IFTTT's recipe to render Instagram images as a Twitter cards comes in.

Simply by adding a hashtag of your choice, IFTTT is triggered to send your Instagram images to Twitter and render them as a full image. It also still lives on in Instagram - so you've covered both bases and have utilized both platforms native features.

Check out the difference below when you use this recipe, or just post through Instagram. Visually, it's way better!


  A few things to remember:

  • You must create an IFTTT account
  • Connect your Instagram and Twitter accounts
  • The recipe suggests #twitter as your hashtag - but you may choose to use another one. I use #tw
  • Do not click on the 'Twitter' button within Instagram, otherwise you will have duplicate posts in your Twitter feed one with an image, one with an Instagram link
  • Like all social media, think about the content you are sharing and consider using this recipe when it's important to share the specific image.
  • Per above, this action removes any link back to your Instagram - so you may want to consider mixing it up so people who follow you may have access to your Instagram account (to like, follow, leave comments).

Next week, I'll walk you through another helpful and very useful IFTTT recipe to continue to make your social media strategy strong, pain free and fun utilizing Instagram with your Facebook Page!


Meighan O'Toole

Always all in.