(Re-)Enabling Twitter -> Facebook Posting

(Most of this is courtesy of @byoogle's comment on a Facebook update I wrote looking for help. So thanks, Brian—I know that nowadays you're all about ensuring that as much information as possible flows into Facebook...)

So let's say you have a Twitter account, and you have a Facebook account. And maybe you have a slightly different set of followers on each, and you want to push out the same status updates to both sets of people (because all your status updates are of the utmost interest to all). And also maybe Facebook has a history of deleting accounts due to bugs in their codebase, and you like the idea of having your online history in more that one place. So ideally, you'd set things up so that all your tweets automatically became Facebook status updates.

Good news, if it's 2009: you can do that pretty easily. Unfortunately, a year or so ago, Facebook stopped third party applications (or at least the official Twitter Facebook application) from updating your actual Facebook status line. They changed things around so that the Twitter app could only create new posts on your wall, with the origin of the post set to the Twitter app. That's mostly fine, although there's definitely a distinction there: in your news stream, Twitter posts from various sources tended to be clustered together, with only the first one visible by default. And there are folks who would block all updates from their news stream if the source was Twitter (though the extra choice for users is a good thing).

Sometime around February 7, this Twitter -> Facebook posting stopped working for just about everyone I know. My random guess is that something in the Facebook API changed, adding in an extra hoop that the Twitter app needed to jump through to get posts working again. (I have some sympathy for Facebook here, as I know what it's like to support a public API, and things do come up that necessitate changes...) There might have been some public announcement about this, and instructions elsewhere on the Internet about re-enabling this integration, but Googling around just led to a bunch of articles that talked about the previous setup, not any that talked about fixing things after the latest change.

As mentioned at the top, my old manager @byoogle came through with some steps that got things working again. Because I'm seeing a bunch of other people I know asking the same question, I'm going to republish them here:

  1. Uninstall the Twitter Facebook app if you were previously using it, by disconnecting your accounts at http://apps.facebook.com/twitter/
  2. Reinstall the Twitter Facebook app from the same page, going through the authorization flow one more time.
  3. Make a test/dummy tweet (this might not strictly be necessary, but I did notice that the first tweet I made didn't flow through).
  4. On the http://apps.facebook.com/twitter/ page, ensure that the "Allow Twitter to post updates to: Facebook Profile" box is checked.
  5. Try tweeting again. It may take a few more minutes, but this one should end up on your Facebook wall.
Hopefully this helps some folks. Note that while the integration is working for me, in that tweets are now showing up on my Facebook wall, I am not 100% sure that they're making it into the Facebook news stream, which is how most people end up reading Facebook content. Maybe my own Twitter posts are just being hidden from my own news stream, and others will be visible.


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