Recently, Twitter has been behaving pretty anti-socially with their data. For a company that is engaged in the business of social media (which means sharing things), they recently restricted how developers can use their API. Needless to say, a lot of people are pretty miffed about this behavior from one of the big social media companies.
The impact of cutting off access, means that a platform like LinkedIn is no longer able to allow their users to bring their tweets into their LinkedIn profiles via automated methods. Additionally, IFTTT, a platform specifically designed to make it easier to move data from one social media channel to another, has been forced to delete all methods of reposting tweets to other channels using their services using the Twitter API.
But fear not fellow social sharers! All is not lost quite yet…Twitter has left one final method of capturing your tweets and posting them to other channels and since I know that you all like tips and secrets, I’m willing to share the secret.
Frustrated that I couldn’t display my tweets in my LinkedIn stream, and fueled by my desire to find workarounds, I hunted for a way to do this. What I found was that I can still leverage IFTTT and the Twitter RSS feeds, to do what I wanted. I simply created the RSS search query that I wanted to feed into LinkedIn and then used the “RSS to LinkedIn” service on IFTT and presto-change-o….my tweets are once again being posted to LinkedIn.
Okay…here are the details. Start with getting your RSS feed. Twitter still provides access to their RSS feeds via the following URL:
Twitter allows you to customize your search queries by adding certain parameters. Check out this great post on Sociable.co to learn about the Twitter RSS parameters. Basically, by customizing the RSS search, the following RSS search gives me all of my tweets:
(the %3A is the URL encoded representation of the @ symbol)
and I can further refine that RSS search to only show those tweets that include “http”…which means that the search would return all of my tweets that also included links
(the %20 is the URL encoded representation of a space)
and finally, I could further refine the search so that it didn’t include retweets by simply telling the search to exclude any tweets with “RT” in them.
NOTE: The order in which I put the parameters is very important. The from has to come last or it didn’t work properly and the %20s are critical. If your feed isn’t working, check that it is similar to mine above.
Then, I headed over to IFTTT and created a recipe that shares posts from an RSS feed to LinkedIn. My recipe basically asked IFTTT to monitor the RSS feed and each time a new entry was added, post it to my LinkedIn profile as a hyperlink.
Basically, my recipe looks like the image below:
So there you have it. Using this method, each time I tweet with a hyperlink and it’s not a RT of someone else, my tweet is also posted to my LinkedIn account.
Honestly, I don’t know how long Twitter will keep this loophole open. I can’t imagine them completely doing away with RSS feeds and I’m technically not calling their API so there isn’t anything black hat going on here. I’m just using the tools that Twitter, IFTTT and LinkedIn are providing to accomplish a sharing of data across platforms.
BTW…I also use nearly this same methodology to back up my tweets to a Google Drive spreadsheet and post my tweets to Google+ (which is a little more complicated). I can imagine that if you wanted to post your tweets to Tumblr, which I know a lot of people used to do, this method would work, as well.
Hope this helps you accomplish your social sharing goals and I’d love to hear how you use the methodology above in new and unique ways! Feel free to leave a comment and tell me how you used it.