Integrate Twitter with your Ning Network!

Update: This release is now live!

We’re excited to announce several new features that integrate the micro-blogging service Twitter with your Ning Network. Spreading the word with Twitter is an effective way to reach a wider audience and increase the membership of your Ning Network. In the coming days, you and your members will be able to:

  • Automatically push Status updates to Twitter
  • Share photos, videos, and other content on Twitter without leaving your Ning Network
  • Take advantage of a new URL shortener

(Note: To take advantage of these new features, make sure you have Twitter integration enabled. To reflect the preferences of different Ning Networks, this feature is off by default for Ning Networks with the Use Your Own Domain premium service. You can enable or disable Twitter integration by going to your Manage page and clicking “Twitter & Flickr.”)

Automatically post your Status updates to Twitter

If you’ve enabled the feature, a Twitter icon will now appear in the Status box. Here’s how it looks:

status-twitter-sm

Check that box to update your Twitter account with your status. The first time you check this box, you’ll be asked to authenticate with Twitter. And after that, you can always change your settings by clicking on Settings and choosing My Page.

Share your content on Twitter with short URLs

You’ve always been able to share any piece of content — like a photo, video, or profile page — on Twitter, but with this release we’re making it a lot easier. Now you’ll see a Twitter link next to your Share link. And if you have Twitter integration set up, you and your members can click the Twitter link to send a tweet without leaving your Ning Network.

In the spirit of 140 characters, we’re also rolling out a brand-new URL shortener that will automatically condense hyperlinks to shared content:

Please forgive my sweetness - Sidewalk Stalker-sm

This helps trim down the length of your tweet, giving you more room to rave about some cool sidewalk art you just discovered — or anything else.

What’s on deck for Twitter integration

As believers in agile development, we plan to bundle more improvements to Twitter integration in the near future. Here are two things we have in mind:

  1. By default, members’ posts on Twitter will say “from a Ning Network” in the gray text below the tweet. For our next steps, we want to offer a premium service that lets you brand your Ning Network by customizing this text and linking it back to your Main Page.
  2. We’re also looking into ways to make it easy for you to update your Twitter account any time you upload a photo or video.

As always, your feedback will help us plan out and prioritize our next steps. So stay tuned, and be sure to join the conversation on Ning Creators!

About the Author:

Nick Barr – who has written posts on Ning's Official Blog on Social Networking Sites.


  • http://www.firefighternation.com Dave Iannone

    Guys the Twitter thing is great but launching it with the ‘from a Ning Network’ vs ‘From Our Site’ really is a killer for us … we miss a major branding opportunity. Please expedite this feature…not sure we’d add it without it. And making that a premium service? I know trying to make money but … if we’re paying for premium domain, and losing the Ning branding, that should be included.

    Dave
    http://www.firefighternation.com
    http://connect.jems.com
    http://www.eventpeeps.com

  • Garfield

    Very exciting update!

  • Umair Rashid

    Seriously, this was something I was really waiting for since long!

  • http://www.AmsterdamExpats.net Ken Carroll

    This sounds like a great new feature Nick.

    One question though.

    You mention that you are planning to offer a premium service that lets you brand a network by customizing the tweet text and linking it back to our networks – will this ‘fee’ be included within the current “Hide Create Links” premium service costs. This seems sensible otherwise we’re paying even more to remove the ‘NING’ links.

    If not maybe NING could include this for free for current networks and only charge this fee for new networks.

    Just a suggestion.

    Ken

  • http://www.neighboursunited.net Janice Priestley

    This sounds great. I can’t wait to have it on my network. What a great start to 2010.

  • http://www.jeffwilliams-usa.com JeffWilliams

    Yes but can we update NING from another source ?

    EG: I can post from reverbnation to Twitter, Myspace, Facebook and RevernNation all at once.

    Would my post FROM ReverbNation TO Twitter be echo’d to my Ning profile WITHING a network EG: http://www.acousticguitarcommunity.com/profile/JeffWilliams

    Thanks
    Jeff Williams
    http://www.jeffwilliam-usa.com
    http://www.google.com/profiles/JeffWilliamsUSA

  • http://www.faithmeetslife.org/profiles/DavidCobb David Cobb

    I’d like to second Jeff Williams’ request. It would be great to feed to my Ning status from Twitter tand not jsut from it. I can do this from Twitter to facebook, which means I can update my status in those two services from my phone. Since I can’t easily update my Ning page from my phone, it’s far less convenient, and I don’t go to it as often. A Twitter or facebook feed that went to Ning and not just from it would solve that problem.

  • Russell

    NO Thanks. “From A Ning Network” is simply garbage. I have promoted Ning enough and do not need to promote you guys anymore than I should since i am paying for Premium. I understand Ning has never claimed to be a “White Label” soultion but I will be damned if I going to give you guys 100% free promotion when in fact you have never given us 100% free promotion.

  • http://www.miamiurbanlife.com Alex (MUL)

    “From A Ning Network” is a deal breaker for me. Please make this branded or it’s useless for us.

  • http://www.groovyrat.com Julian

    Same for me, I will not be using the feature as long as the ning reference is there. Also I will not be paying anymore to remove it.

    Come on ning, play fair.

  • http://svenhaverbuspluszon.ning.com Sven

    is it for the free social networking?

  • _

    great, but I have to agree that I can’t use it with “from a ning network”, and as I already pay for my own domain and to remove ning links (and the rest) I don’t feel it’s fair to be charged again to remove another ning link.

  • Angela

    I also echo Jeff Williams’ comment. While the Facebook link is automatic, there’s also the option I have with Yammer: I authenticate my Twitter acount in Yammer, and now whenever I update my Twitter status with the #yam tag, that update flows to Yammer. Either way would be great!

  • http://www.createculture.org Nico

    Guys, this is indeed needed, thank you, but I agree with many other NCs here that “from a ning network” is not cool. We are making lots of efforts for branding, and this would not be consistent for us. Also, we are already paying for premium service and in fairness you should really include this in the premium fee. Thanks

  • Mark

    “from a ning network”

    This feature seems to be promoting ning more than our networks.

    Horrible idea.

  • Sta.rtUp.biz
  • http://novebi.ning.com 9b

    For not paying premium sites like mine, the win win solution could be “from novebi.ning.com”, instead of “from a ning network”: adv for both ning and novebi too.

    Regards

  • http://www.globalyeshiva.com/ Eliyahu

    When is this going to be live? I don’t see it my management panel. I also agree this should be freebe for those paying premium services.

  • http://theningdirectory.ning.com Ning Directory

    This is great, and something I’ve wanted for a while.

    I have one issue with this. Of course on the Ning Directory, I want it to say “From a Ning Network”. However, for premium Ning Networks that already pay for “Remove Promotional Links”, I think to say this will be offered as a Premium Service is not reasonable.

    On offering features that some of us have expressed we wouldn’t mind paying a small premium fee, say for example: more power and access to files, that’s a different story.

    I really feel you should reconsider the premium service for this feature. With millions of Networks sending “From a Ning Network” to Twitter, this should more than pay for the development and maintenance of this feature – - just due to the ongoing and unbelievable viral promotion Ning will receive, without having to pay for that marketing.

    Far as the feature goes, fantastic!

    My Sincere Thoughts,
    Jen

  • http://www.firefighternation.com Dave Iannone

    I see this is live now, would be GREAT if you can make some improvements to sharing things on Facebook….this drives SO much more traffic than Twitter when done right if you’ve got alot of fans on Facebook…..

  • http://sta.rtup.biz Sta.rtUp.biz

    We really need this so that it comes from our network NOT from a ning network. Otherwise this is a really valuable update.

  • http://www.miamiurbanlife.com Alex (MUL)

    I see there is now a “Twitter” sharing icon/link on all content that redirects to Twitter with a tiny url. The problem is, this URL includes Ning in it. Why isn’t this branded to our networks?

  • http://blog-o.ning.com Laura Oppenheimer

    Hi Alex,

    To make a custom URL, you actually need to buy a separate domain, and then configure that with a shortening service. With almost 2 million Ning Networks on the platform, that’s a lot of domains we’d need to purchase and clearly isn’t feasible to implement.

    Since it isn’t possible to provide a custom URL for each Ning Network, we’ve simply provided one, for all of them. If you have any other questions, the best place to get answers and engage is discussions is over at the Creators Ning Network.

    See you there?

    -Laura

  • http://www.floortimerepository.com Alexis

    How do we disable the twitter feature to not be on profile pages ? Its a nice feature but I don’t really want that on my private networks. Any ideas on how to disable it?

  • http://blog-o.ning.com Laura Oppenheimer

    Hi Alexis,

    You can turn this off by heading to Manage –> Twitter and Flickr integration.

    Thanks!
    Laura

  • http://dshan.me Derek

    Please, please give us our branding in the ‘via…’ link. This is SUCH a great addition to Ning, but let us keep our members in our brand.

    :)

  • http://fanpageblog.com Dainaz

    Great idea…it would be fantastic if you can integrate fan pages as well. Since I am a fan page specialist it would be a great feature to promote.

  • http://www.miamiurbanlife.com Alex (MUL)

    How long before we get branded Twitter updates?

  • http://www.marscp.ning.com ian Watson

    I have disabled Twitter integration on the ‘manage’ tab but the option to share still appears on blog and forum postings. We need this community to be private, so this is a bit of a problem.

  • http://www.boatbrevard.com john kavaliauskas

    There appears to be a bug with entering the keys and secret code. The popup window appears to far up the screen below the browser toolbar and you can not enter the codes. I have tried it in Mozilla and in chrome.

  • http://blog-o.ning.com Laura Oppenheimer

    Hi John,

    I just tested this out on my own Ning Network and was able to set it up without an issue. Can you reach out to us via the Ning Help Center if you are still having an issue?

    Thanks!

  • http://homeopathyworldcommunity.com Debby Bruck

    This is fabulous! I’m a big TWITTER FAN and this enables everyone on my network to link back to our community through twitter. THANKS!
    Debby
    http://twitter.com/DebbyBruck

  • Michaël

    Thanks a lot for this great addition! I also second Jeffs request. Please also make it possible to update the Ning Status from Twitter, and not only to Twitter.

  • http://theaternetwerk.ning.com Maarten

    Will it also be possible to push my tweets directly to the “Whats happening”message box on top of My page?