Looking for a 2016 solution to Tweet an image from a website



We have an NGO website on which there are images that we are encouraging visitors to share through Twitter. I’m wondering if there is a way that we can link the images so that it drafts a tweet for the visitor so that they can post it/customize it. Not unlike how Web Intents work, but with the addition of an image.

Things I already know:

  1. Web Intents: Don’t support media uploads.
  2. Cards: The image is always hidden unless the tweet is clicked (so in a timeline the tweet could be easily overlooked) plus cards are not universally supported across unofficial (and official) Twitter clients.
  3. I have seen similar threads attempt to tackle this topic but they were closed down, or the solution was not clear/never found/was out of date.

In the spirit of finding a 2016 solution, is there a way to make it easy for a visitor to Tweet an image from the website without asking them to download it and compose a new tweet from scratch manually?

Put a more direct way — is there a Twitter API way to do this? Do I have to register an application and have the visitor go through an OAuth scenario to give us access to their timeline so that we can post to it? I’d rather not do that as it is far too invasive for simple image sharing and visitors may wonder why we need all that access — which could be a barrier to them sharing the image in the first place.

Any hints at a direction I can take would greatly help.
Many thanks!


Thanks for the question, Adrian.

You’re correct that the Web Intents / Tweet Button do not allow an image to be attached.

Cards - we’ve recently evolved the Cards experience such that you will see images / expanded Cards inline in the timeline if you see the Tweets in the official iOS and Android apps. Right now, they are hidden behind the view summary link on the web, but that experience is open to change in the future. Cards are not available to third party clients at this time.

Probably the “best” way to do this from a user perspective today would be to have a web app where a user authenticates to you, and you can then ask them to compose a Tweet and upload and attach the image in the background. Yes, it would require you to have them authenticate for read/write access to their account (because write permissions are required for you to post a Tweet on their behalf), so I’m inclined to agree that this is not ideal.


Thanks for this @andypiper — at least I’m not missing any unforeseen opportunities.

Would love to see Twitter develop a solution to this in the near future, as I see it as a big opportunity to build a new kind of engagement between website owners and visitors, while using Twitter as the ecosystem for that engagement.

Until then.

closed #4

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