How to get a Twitter feed in Google Reader

Image representing Google Reader as depicted i...Image via CrunchBaseIf you happen to use Google Reader and have ever tried to add your twitter feed you'll know that they are incompatible. This is apparently because Google Reader doesn't support the authentication Twitter requires.

After wasting some time trying to use Yahoo Pipes as a conduit which was one solution thrown up on a web search, I finally thought I would try Feedburner which is the service that provides a RSS feed of this blog.

It was surprisingly easy and worked first time. Here's how.
  1. At the bottom of your Twitter home page on the left hand side, you'll see a box marked "RSS". Copy the associated link location by right clicking on the box and selecting to copy link location.
  2. Setup/Login into your Feedburner account
  3. Within Feedburner, go to "My Feeds", which is accessed at the top of the screen, and paste the Twitter link you copied into the field under the heading "Burn a feed right this instant".
  4. The link you copied in is password protected and so you now need to add your twitter username and password into the link as follows
    http://username:password@twitter.com/statuses/friends_timeline/nnnnnnn.rss

    where "n" at the suffix represents the numbers of your unique feed.
  5. Click the "Next" button adjacent to the Feedburner field you've entered the link into
  6. On the subsequent Feedburner page you can modify the resultant feed title and link if you wish to
  7. Click on the button marked "Activate Link". This makes your feed live and provides you with a feed url which you should copy.
  8. Back in Google Reader, add a subscription and paste in the feed url.
And that's it.

Given that Twitter no longer provides a feed via IM clients, you may find this an easy way to keep on top of your Twitter updates.
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posted by John Wilson @ 12:49 PM Permanent Link newsvine reddit



17 Comments:

At 8:22 AM, Blogger Sean said...

Helpful. Thanks for providing this.

 
At 2:39 AM, Blogger John Gordon said...

Very nice. I was using "Free My Feed" but I prefer this method - especially since my gmail credentials work for feedburner.

They could do with a more elegant approach to storing credentials, but it ain't that hard to get right.

Thanks for posting on this, much appreciated.

 
At 10:33 PM, Blogger F1LT3R said...

Sir... you rock! You just saved me a whole lot of scraping :)

 
At 10:55 PM, Blogger mmuras said...

Gonna try this tonight...seems great.

 
At 12:31 AM, Blogger mmuras said...

It worked exactly the way you said...brilliant...I am also burning my feed on Feedburner, just like John Gordon (above).

Any chance we can figure out how to burn just the "My Timeline" and not the one that includes friends?

-mmuras

 
At 12:19 AM, Blogger steve_c said...

Is there some way to restrict the feed to one of the groups I set up in TweetDeck, or filter it in some way? (I have a search I always have open on a certain subject and I would like to feed that to a window in my blog.)

 
At 3:21 PM, Blogger irfan said...

Cool. Very helpful link. Thanks for sharing that.

 
At 7:21 PM, Blogger One of the Team. said...

many thanks - the username:password bit was stumping me - otherwise I was thinking that feedburner was blocking twitter for commercial reasons...
many thanks for the blog

 
At 3:10 AM, Blogger Sheena @ Mommy Daddy Blog said...

I'm trying to get tweets from another twitter account to post on another twitter account of mine using twitterfeed.com. Is it safe to use your method feeding the url through twitterfeed.com with my credentials? Would anyone have access to that?

 
At 3:29 AM, Blogger Mark Hoober said...

This was great! Thank you. There is a lot of other junk out there about Feedburner conspiring against Twitter and not accepting Twitter feeds. It turns out Feedburner was not accepting my twitter feed because of the username and password requirements. This solved it! Thanks.

 
At 7:26 PM, Blogger Theron said...

I don't seem to be getting instant updates on Google Reader. Anyone else have to ping their page?

 
At 4:10 AM, Anonymous JohnH said...

I have Feedburner set up to feed my Twitter RSS to Reader (thank you) but I only ever get the last 20 tweets. If there are more than 20 since I last checked,they never make it into the feed. is there a workaround? Am I missing something?

 
At 1:33 PM, Blogger John Wilson said...

Whilst the twitter posts tend to arrive in batches of 20 posts, Google Reader accumulates the posts. As to the completeness of the feed, I've not experienced any problems.

 
At 2:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This does not work (anymore?). If I embed my username and password in the URL of my twitter timeline RSS feed, then visiting that URL with a browser shows a page with the text "Basic authentication is not supported". The URL is not accepted by feedburner either.

 
At 10:53 PM, Blogger John Wilson said...

Having checked back it looks my own Twitter feed stopped working on 31 August 2010, albeit because I used other means often to check on Twitter I (stupidly) hadn't noticed. So I intend to take a look to see what's changed and will update accordingly.

 
At 4:19 AM, Blogger Prasad Gupte said...

I get the message: "We could not find a valid feed at that address. Here are some possible reasons this might have happened"
Am I missing something?

 
At 11:54 AM, Anonymous on demand dashboards said...

The way you suggested seems not working with twitter anymore. seems they have started using Oauth insted of using username/passwords within urls. anyway it's a nice tip as it worked once.

 

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