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Twitter Blackbird Pie WordPress Plugin Version 0.3 Released


UPDATE : check out the new Blackbird Pie plugin page

I have finally had the chance to finish off the changes I wanted to get into the next release of the Twitter Blackbird Pie WordPress Plugin. It is now at version 0.3. For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, the plugin allows you to embed a tweet into you posts or pages with a simple shortcode. Check out the demo page to see how awesome the “pies” look!

So what was lacking?

Well, thanks to some awesome review posts, a few shortcomings have been pointed out. There was an issue with using the full URL of the tweet and this has now been sorted out. The other issue the review pointed out was the fact that “tweets have a built in shelf life”. Now this may be true, but because the plugin saves and stores the tweet data in a custom field, even if twitter had to die and go offline for good, the tweet would still be shown and be useful to readers. I also did some major testing with very old tweets and as you can see below, here is the first one ever tweeted:

just setting up my twttr
March 21 at 10:50 pm via webReplyRetweetFavorite
Jack Dorsey

What has been added?

  1. The best feature in this release is the tinyMCE editor “blackbird” button:
  2. Added support for oEmbed, so you can embed your tweets just by pasting the tweet URL on it’s own line. Read more about the WP feature. Thanks Viperbond007.
  3. Changed the custom fields that store the tweet data to be hidden (prefix a custom field with an underscore to hide them). To view these “hidden” custom fields you can always use this tip (again from Viperbond007).

So WTF does this “Blackbird” button do anyways?

It allows for a very easy and user-friendly way to create the shortcode needed to embed the tweet. When you click the button you will see a small popup with 3 tabs, and I think It’s quite obvious what each tab is for:

The first is where you can paste the full URL of the tweet you want to embed.

On the 2nd tab, you just need the tweet ID or identifier (this unqiue key for each tweet that is on the end of the full URL).

The 3rd tab allows you to search a twitter user’s timeline.

Enter in a username and click “search” and another popup will show with the latest tweets for that user. There is also a simple paging mechanism to go back and forward between pages of tweets. A search for the “themergency” username results in this:

Just click the tweet to automatically create the shortcode and embed it into the post. It’s almost too simple now.

So please go and download the plugin and test it out. And please leave a comment here if you find any issues or bugs.

Please also consider donating as a lot of time and effort goes into developing these plugins.

Happy tweeting!

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thomasaa 5 pts

This plugin has helped me greatly!  I have used in the past an plan on taking more advantage of it in the future.


I was wondering though if there is a way to size how large the embedded tweet is on each page.  Currently the tweets go the width of the page are quite tall.  I would like to make it a bit smaller.

EdSteenhoek 5 pts

Is there a way to "refresh" a tweet to get the current design of the profile as background in stead of the one that is used initially?

joseperezlara 5 pts

I have installed but when I activate the plugin the blog shows nothing, looks like an empty blog, could you give me a clue about what is wrong?

KarlG3 5 pts

Great plugin! Just installed it on

Looking forward to be able to display automatic updates with latest tweet from my selected Twitters

travisclark 5 pts

Hi! I was wondering if you could help me out with changing the background of the tweet. I see most people have an image in the background and I'm kind of a noob and I'm not sure how to do that.

If you could help that would be great. This is such a great plugin!

I love this plugin! I've blogged some suggested tweaks, at

Can this be used in comments just like I tried, but I was not able to use it in comments. I posted this at too:

Hi Matt,

There is no support for 'pies' in comments yet. This will be released in the next version.


Hi Brad, great plugin, thanks. With the new intents version, I had a problem with the CSS, images and links, screenshot here of what happened:

I use a plugin to identify external links for my readers and I have my tags set up to have a 1px border and some padding within my main posts.

I found that by adding another CSS class to all the links and img tags in BBP, you can make the problem go away by doing things like this:

#content img.bbptweet {…}
#content a.bbptweet.external_icon {…}
#content a.bbptweet.external {…}

Which seems to work fine and restores things to normal:

Maybe this is useful for someone else reading or perhaps you could include an extra 'bbptweet' class on all of the output so that people can tweak their CSS if they need to without having to remember to re-edit the blackbird-pie.php file when you publish updates.

Keep up the good work…!

Hi Matthew,

I assign a class of "bbpBox" to the outer most div for each tweet, so you could add some custom styling for that class in your custom CSS
thanks for using the plugin :)


I hope you would add support for Twitter Web Intents soon!

this is coming very soon... and more :)

Hi Brad, amazing plugin, thanks for creating it!

I have a question, but I am not sure whether it is possible at all.

Your plugin needs an existing tweet (url or id) to be able to show the tweet, correct? So it would not be possible to show the latest tweet as other twitter plugins do, right?

But as it seems possible to show a timeline of latest tweets (in the search tab) it got me thinking.

Would it be possible to take for example the Twitter RSS feed of a user (my own) and show it the way Blackbird Pie is showing the tweets?

With the new Post Formats, this could become a really cool feature on basically any website!

Look forward to hear your thoughts on this!

Hi Piet
That is one of the features I will be building into the next release. It will work as follows:

you will include a shortcode similar to [blackbirdpie user="themergency"] and it will then show your latest tweet and cache the result for 15 mins or so. I will probably include a cache duration too so you can specify how long it will cache your latest tweet before it pulls from Twitter again.

thanks for using the plugin

OK, so this would still needed to be included into a post as a shortcode. I guess it will not be possible to make it as a post on itself then?

Is there a way to call the function not with a shortcode, but instead with a "normal" php call?

I will make sure it can be called with a simple php method call like
or even better use the username you setup in the settings page

That'd be awesome Brad! Thanks, I have donated sth to the cause :)

Hi Brad,

I'm getting this error on the plugin.

Fatal error: Call to undefined function mb_convert_encoding() in /var/www/ 2/unicode.php on line 17

And similar to Ric above, when the error is shown, the blog post disappears!

Thanks.. Just thought I'd let you know.

Hi xin

please make sure you have the php mbstring extension installed on your server. see here for details :


Love this plugin - tweets look great in my wordpress posts. One problem: if I ask wordpress for a summary of articles, like request all posts in a category, the tweets don't get interpreted and you see raw html in the summary. Any way around that?

Thanks for a great plugin!

Hi Marc

That is strange - can u give me a link to your page where this happens?

And thanks for using the plugin :)

Great plugin,

Is it possible to add multiple "pies" in a single post from the same Twitter account, so the Tweets will show up one after the other and the name of the Twitter account owner will just show up once at the bottom after the last Tweet message?

Hi Ben

You can embed many tweets from the same user one after the other, but multiple tweets "grouped" together like you describe is not possible at this stage. It is a great idea for a future feature though :)


How do you embed a hashtag into a post with this plugin?

Thanks in advance for the help.

embed a hastag? I dont understand why you would want to do that?


Great plugin, I used on two posts one of them works perfect, but the last one I'm experimented something really wear, it doesn't let me click any link above the included tweet. I try some hacks using css but nothing.

Can you help me :)

Much thanx,

Hi Pancho
I had a look at the link you posted and it seems to be fine. Did you get it working?

i also have the same above question
how can i get all the latest tweets of a userid???

@above, i just want to display all the latest tweets below my post content,
currently when i am doing this it is asking me for specific tweet ID, but i want all the tweets to be called of that account,
for eg:
i have a MBA website so i want all the latest news from the corresponding university, so i want all the tweets of that university account, so that it will come under my post,
how can i do this?

OK but it is just calling one tweet, i want at-least 4 tweets to be shown
how can i do that???????

can anyone help me over here????

yes sure. What seems to be the issue?

Thanks guys….we appreciate the support and are working to make the plugin better and better!

i am getting this error,
There was a problem connecting to Twitter.

do i have to fill the three of the tabs?
or just the user ID is enough?

That error occurs when the call to Twitter fails. Sometimes Twitter gets really busy and cannot handle all the request to it. Just refresh your page until it goes through. The nice thing about the blackbird plugin is that it caches and stores the response it gets from Twitter in custom fields, so it only needs to connect the first time.

You only need to fill in one of the tabs. Just the ID is enough to display the tweet

Meant to say - that looks like the line where you are trying to cater for the additional characters the new twitter puts into the URL (the "#!" Ajax stuff) ...

Getting a parse error with v0.3.4:
Parse error: syntax error, unexpected '"' in /var/www/vhosts/ on line 15
- the plugin won't activate. Worse - if a previous version was active, upgrading to this version renders the blog invisible (blank web pages, no error messages) - I needed to log into server and rename pluign directory to force it out of the way.

Hey Ric - thanks for letting me know - I am busy looking into this error. Its a strange on that I cannot seem to reproduce in my dev environment or 2 of my live servers. I am busy trying a workaround that I would like you to test for me please. I will send you the update.

Hi, I'm getting the same error message Sufian is. PHP version is 4.4.9.

See, it ain't everything bad with windows ;-)

Hi, I had to change line 179 in blackbird-pie.php to (small a in autolink, there's a capital A by default) to avoid this:

Warning: require_once(Autolink.php) [function.require-once]: failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /xxx/wp-content/plugins/twitter-blackbird-pie/blackbird-pie.php on line 179
Fatal error: require_once() [function.require]: Failed opening required 'Autolink.php' (include_path='.:/usr/share/php:..') in /xxx/wp-content/plugins/twitter-blackbird-pie/blackbird-pie.php on line 179
great plugin, thanks

Thanks Carsten, I will update the plugin for the next release. (which should be in the next day).
I dev and host on windows so i never run into these case sensitive issues :)

I installed the plugin, went to where I want the tweet shown in my post, entered a tweet URL and updated. Nothing appears.
Seems pretty straight forward, so what am I doing wrong?

Hi Richard
Can you paste the tweet URL you were using here please. It might be as a result of the added #! in the newtwitter status URLs. I am busy updating the plugin to allow for these new format URLs

It will be great to move if <style> in the twitter id to the html head

Trying to get this working with DIY Themes. It looks as though I need to create a custom function but I can't figure out the correct syntax for calling the shortcode. Any help please? Thanks.

Perhaps I am doing it wrong, but I just created a post with the only text as a tweet from my twitter account...posted it...and the title of the post appears, but nothing in the text of wordpress..and the theme is disrupted. I have the latest version of php, wordpress and this plugin. Here is the post:
I used the search and selected the tweet from my account. Thanks.

I just installed the plugin on my wp blog through the wp dashboard and I keep getting errors on the page after saving the posts.

Here's a screenshot:

Hi Sufian, what version of PHP are you using? That's a strange error you are getting

can this be somehow combined with alex king's plugin that fetches all twitter statuses and imports them into wordpress into a category of my choosing? would be a so much sexier way of building my twitter archive :-)


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