If you post to Instagram and it sends a copy to Twitter then only a link appears, Twitter doesn’t display your image in the tweet. The reason is because Instagram does not support ‘Twitter cards’(1) but you can(2) bypass this by using the third party service IFTTT (If This, Then That) to get around it and display images correctly. Once you upload a new image to Instagram it will get tweeted out and display as a picture (note that it won’t work in cases where you write a tweet and include an Instagram link).
Be aware that if you have ‘post to Twitter’ switched on on your Instagram account then you may end up with two copies of the tweet – one directly from Instagram with no image (the wrong one), and the one via IFTTT with the image (the new and improved version). You can safely switch off the Instagram one (see my image below of my settings).
You will need, and to be logged into
- a Twitter account
- an Instagram account
- an IFTTT account
Once logged into IFTTT visit this recipe(3) page Tweet your Instagrams as native photos and follow the instructions to ‘connect’ your Twitter (https://ifttt.com/twitter) and Instagram (https://ifttt.com/instagram) accounts – IFTTT refers to these as ‘channels’.
This will allow your Twitter and Instagram accounts can talk to each other independently, through IFTTT.
Once done it should look a bit like this and when you post an image to Instagram and it should turn up on your Twitter timeline with the picture appearing.
It worked… [if you’re viewing on a mobile it will probably look as if it didn’t, but it did!]
Note that these are my settings on Instagram – it says that I have Twitter-sharing switched off, which is true, but the IFTTT recipe is now overriding this.
(1)Twitter cards are basically a display-format that websites can sign up to so that pictures embed and display on Twitter as an image rather than as a link that you have to click on. The IFTTT system uploads the image to Twitter as a (usually hidden, but may show on mobile apps as a pic.twitter link and also provides a link back to the original Instagram (that link will show as iff.tt).
(2)However you might prefer that people click on the link so that your Instagram account gets the relevant metrics and you might also prefer that Twitter isn’t further overrun with images 🙂
(3)There are other examples of recipes that will also perform this function, have a search of the options and see what’s on there.