How to Transfer Twitter Followers to Instagram

By Jen Cordwainer

Expand your social media reach by connecting with Twitter followers via Instagram.
i Thomas Northcut/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Twitter locked the Instagram service out of its API in July 2012, shutting down the "Find Friends" feature that allowed Instagram users to add their Twitter followers as Instagram friends. This turn of events has made it harder for social media users to maintain the same audience across both platforms. However, you can use techniques like cross-posting, private messages, @mentions and strategic hashtags to draw your Twitter fans to your Instagram posts.


While Twitter has dropped the "Find Friends" support, you can still cross-post your photos to Twitter from the Instagram app. Your Twitter followers are able to view the photo and click on a link that takes them to your Instagram page. You can link the two accounts by examining the "Share Settings" in your Instagram mobile app. When you select "Twitter" you are prompted to log in with your Twitter credentials. Every time you post a new Instagram photo you can select "Twitter" from the Share panel to cross-post the image.

Twitter Direct Messages

You can personally notify your Twitter followers of your Instagram account by sending Direct Message invitations. Visit the Instagram Web page, sign in and copy the URL for your profile or an individual post. Visit the Twitter home page, sign in and click on the direct messages icon, which looks like a small envelope. Select "New Message" and type in the name or Twitter handle of your recipient. Paste the URL into the message field and click "Send Message."


You can mention your Twitter followers within your Instagram descriptions, which can be an effective way of drawing your Twitter fan base attention to your photos. This technique only works if you are cross-posting between Instagram and Twitter. In the photo description field, type in the "@" symbol followed by your Twitter follower's handle before you submit a post to Instagram.


Chances are, you gained some of your Twitter followers through hashtagged posts that pertain to certain interests and topics. When you cross-post Instagram images to Twitter, the hashtags in the photo description also carries over to Twitter. This increases the likelihood that your current Twitter followers will see it. Additionally, hashtags help you gain new Twitter and Instagram followers since others searching for the same hashtag can find your posts.