Firefox Search Plugin: Post Updates to Twitter right from your Firefox Search Bar!

April 18th 2008:
This no longer works. Try an alternative instead.

Description

“Post to Twitter” is a search plugin for Mozilla Firefox which allows you to quickly post statuses (or “tweets”) to your Twitter account from the Firefox search bar. It is not an extension — it is a Firefox Search Engine. This means you can activate and install it in about five seconds, and start using it straight away without having to restart Firefox.

Evan Williams, the co-founder of the company behind Twitter, described it as

wicked cool

Download

Take a look at the button to the left of your Firefox Search Bar now. You’ll see that the button has a faint glow around it (Mac users, the arrow will be glowing). This indicates that the website you are viewing has a search engine available which you can install with just two clicks – in this case the search engine is not a search engine at all, but a Twitter updater.

Click the drop down menu and click Add “Post to Twitter”. The search engine will be downloaded and installed and you can start using it straight away.

How to use it

To post a status to your Twitter account, simply select “Post to Twitter” from the search engine drop down menu (if it isn’t selected already), type your status, and hit enter. If you are already logged into your account on twitter.com your status will be posted straight away. If you’re not logged in, you’ll be prompted to do so and then your status will be posted right after you’ve logged in.

Very Important

Once you’ve posted your update, don’t forget to switch back to your default search engine straight away so you don’t accidentally post to Twitter the next time you go to search for something. Simply click the drop down box and click on Google (or whatever your favourite search engine is) then carry on about your normal business.

Requirements

The only requirements for this plugin to work are that you have Firefox 2 (or later) and a twitter.com account.

Geek Stuff

The “Post to Twitter” search engine plugin is written in OpenSearch formatted XML. You can find out more about writing your own OpenSearch search engine plugins at the Mozilla Developer Center: Creating OpenSearch plugins for Firefox. If you’re familiar with the OpenSearch format then you might be thinking to yourself, hang on, this plugin should work in Internet Explorer 7 too, but you’d be wrong. The plugin uses the POST method which is not supported by IE7. The POST method is required to post your status to twitter.com, and using GET will not work. If IE7 one day does support POST then I see no reason for the plugin not to work in IE7 too.

54 thoughts on “Firefox Search Plugin: Post Updates to Twitter right from your Firefox Search Bar!

  1. Uh… where can this be found? The download text isn’t a link.

  2. Dan,

    Thanks for your interest in my little Firefox plugin. Please re-read the instructions carefully under the “Download” heading on the web page. You have to click the drop down box to the left of your Firefox search bar and add the new search engine from there. I’ve even provided a screen shot for you.

    Hope you find it useful!

  3. Really Great!
    Now we only need another FF Extension that shows the twitters when they arrive ;-)

  4. Brilliant! This is the simplest way of posting to Twitter!

  5. Awesome implementation of Twitter updating! Where did you come up with this idea?

  6. Chris, I originally found out about OpenSearch on the WordPress Hooks Directory (although the OpenSearch there is currently broken) and started playing with it. At about the same time I created a Twitter account and I guess the idea just came to me one day :D

  7. I clicked the drop-down. Nothing about twitter to be found. Help?

  8. Laurak! My problem WAS the same, but I allowed the scripts (with the No script menu)in here (icro.us), and after I refreshed the site. And now click the drop down box to the left of my Firefox search bar, and there is: “Add post to Twiter” – the undermost search engine.

  9. Laurak, are you sure you have Firefox 2 or higher? To find out, click on the Help menu then click About Mozilla Firefox. It will tell you the version number there.

    If you don’t have Firefox 2 then click the Help menu again and click Check For Updates – or you can visit getfirefox.com to download it.

  10. Just popping by to say great work with the plugin, I have made a slight fork of the idea if anyone is interested, but you post from the addressbar instead: twitterbar [link corrected by John Blackbourn]

  11. thanks tony. i do everything from the address bar so your plugin is a little more suited to me. i would have liked to just create a Keyword Bookmark for the update input at Twitter, but couldn’t. good work guys!

  12. i’m having the same problem as laurak. i can’t work out from george g’s post what i should do. where do i find the no script menu that’s mentioned? any help muchly appreciated…

  13. Fithdy, are you also sure you’re using the latest version of Firefox? The plugin needs Firefox 2 or higher to work.

    Here is a quick screenshot of the dropdown menu in case anyone doesn’t quite understand where they have to click:

  14. This is a really cool addition to my Firefox and newly acquired Twitter habit. Keep the great work.

    Also I am going to drop a link to your site here in my blog. Hope some more folks drop by and checkout what you are doing.

    Techy

  15. i’m struggling with this too. does it work with the very latest version of firefox? i’m just updated to 2.0.0.3 this morning.
    loving the concept though!

  16. Yeah, I’m thinking it’s a 2.0.0.3 problem too. Netvibes added its search engine to Firefox yesterday. I’ve checked all the “Advanced JavaScript” settings boxes, and turned off any remaining popup-blocker toolbars. Still no “Add Post to Twitter” 8-(

  17. Sorry everyone, this was entirely my fault. I accidentally removed the search plugin from my site while making some changes to it, that’s why it wasn’t showing up for anyone. It should work fine in any version of Firefox 2.0 and higher.

  18. Okay i have the drop down menu.. and a twitter account.. and firefox 2.o.o.3 and the drop down menu.. but no option of “post to twitter” to select. ??!! help. :(

  19. In order to automatically switch away from twitter posting, you can try using the SearchLoad Options extension. Although you may want to less the default switch time just in case.

  20. the only thing i dont liek bout the post-a-twitter plugin is that it prompts to the main page. bah~ is htere any shortcut that u can post ur twit and not prompt it to the twitter home page? bah~

  21. Rara-Chan: Sorry, the plugin can’t change that because it is Twitter itself which sends you to the min page after posting your update. Nothing to do with my plugin I’m afraid!

  22. Great plug-in. I’m using it all the time. Except I have to manually login to Twitter first before I can create a post. If I try to send a post without logging in, I’m asked to login, but it hangs on the twitter update page and doesn’t send the post after I login this way.

    So, I’m logging in manually first and then making my posts. Still, a great plugin despite this login issue I’m having.

  23. Love the plugin! And it works fine for me… I think you if you have a problem you must be using a lower version of FireFox 2.0.

    So go and upgrade.

  24. I love how it automatically converts links to the tiny URL format! Really awesome tool. I’m wondering though, is it just up to the user to make sure one doesn’t go over the 140 character limit? (Since of course when one posts directly from the twitter page, the dialog box will tell you if you’ve gone over.)

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