The Sweet Plugin: Twitter Blackbird Pie


Twitter Blackbird Pie is today’s Sweet Plugin. Blackbird Pie is a super slick way of drawing Twitter posts into your blog and embedding them in a way that’s far superior to images or quotes. To be honest, this was one I hadn’t spent a lot of time with before putting this video together.

The video is embedded at the top of this post’s page, with more about the plugin below.

Twitter Blackbird Pie

Twitter Blackbird Pie functionality within WordPress really saw its birth on It was Justin Shreve of Automattic who passed along some of his code to plugin developer Brad Vin, who then put this plugin up on the Plugin Directory. Community win, right?

All it takes to trigger a Blackbird Pie embed is a URL to Twitter standing alone on its own line. This is handy, since if the plugin is ever disabled for some reason, the core content (a link to the tweet itself) won’t be lost. This is one place where a bit of forward thinking does outsmart shortcode tags, I would say.

Video recorded with version 0.5.1 of Twitter Blackbird Pie, running WordPress 3.1.3.

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If you would like to see your plugin featured on an episode of The Sweet Plugin, send your plugin information over to [email protected]. We’ll see you tomorrow for another Sweet Plugin!

5 thoughts on “The Sweet Plugin: Twitter Blackbird Pie

  1. Great plugin! However, I think you may have given credit to the wrong developer. Is “bradvin” the same person as Noel Tock? I like this series, it might be nice to add a widget to give credit the WordPress developer you’re focusing on. Keep up the good work Ryan!

  2. I like this plugin, but I’ve had issues with it before, especially with how it uses (or used to use) the hash bang format for posts. That’s probably been fixed, but at this point, I tend to be a bigger fan of just using Embedly’s WordPress plugin and gaining access to the Blackbird Pie stuff PLUS like a bajillion (OK, like 200) other oEmbed services.

    Still, it’s a great plugin for users who frequently want to embed Twitter content. Twitter’s official Blackbird Pie implementation is so full of fail (the “simple” instructions are like, longer than my arm — granted I have short arms but still!), it actually is quite funny. We try to cut down on extraneous JavaScript when we can at Mashable (we already have so much loading with our highly customized WP setup and with the Ruby-based Follow layer that adding in extra stuff just doesn’t work well), so we don’t use anything for embedding tweets, but when we looked at doing just straight Blackbird Pie sans plugin, we discovered it was actually faster just to take a damn screenshot and upload it in a post.

  3. Love the plugin, absolutely marvellous work. The plugin is simple and anyone can use instantly.

    Only complaint is that it doesn’t show up on the ‘visual’ you’ll need to post the entry and then view the blog proper. Other than that it’s great.

    I also had some issues while on my company intranet that blocks certain websites, the author may be using some other websites to pull the tweet data from twitter. Back at home though it works fine 🙂

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