I have long admired the way some bloggers are able to include an image when auto-posting to Twitter. Looking at the IFTTT applet I was using to auto-post from my own blog, there did not appear to be an option to do this, and a web search did not yield any useful results.
Hi Warren, if you don’t mind me asking, what plugin or service do you use to cross post to Twitter. I ask as I can’t find an option that will include the image.
— James Michie (@jamesmichie) May 4, 2020
Looking into both of these I could see that they would achieve what I wanted but I was not satisfied with either implementation. Blog2Social requires you to create a Twitter application. This is not a big deal (I’ve done it before) but I did not believe this was necessary to achieve my goal. Furthermore, it is heavy-handed on the promotion of its paid features in the WordPress backend. The other option, Jetpack, is too feature rich and its footprint on the back end of your blog is quite intrusive. Furthermore, to access all of the auto-tweet features a paid plan is required. This does not sit right with me given the open source origins of WordPress.
Returning to IFTTT, I could not shake off the feeling that there was a way to do it. The search function in IFTTT is a bit hit and miss with a high noise to signal ratio. However, there were several recipes that indicated images could be posted natively to Twitter from other sources. This lead to me taking a fresh look at the Twitter channel in IFTTT. I saw that they have added a range of options and this indeed included the option to tweet with an image.
So, to relieve the proverbial itch, I started from scratch (😉) and created a new applet to share my WordPress posts to Twitter with an image.
This was a definite case that proved it is always worth digging a little deeper! Dr. Amp would approve.
- I subsequently found out that Warren uses the Jetpack plugin. However, he has recently written in his newsletter about issues he has had with this feature not working correctly. And I do believe he has since found a solution. ↩