TweetSwitch Lets you Tweet from within Yahoo! Messenger 10
Article by George Norman
On 12 Jan 2010
The latest version of the Yahoo! developed instant messaging application, Yahoo! Messenger 10, comes with a feature called Y! Updates (or Yahoo! Updates if you will). This is an alternative contacts list view that instead of listing all your contacts, list your contacts’ updates. When one of your friends updates his or her status, it will be displayed in Y! Updates. You will also get an Y! updates popup, but you can disable it.

When on of your friends says something on Twitter, Y! Updates will let you know about it. It is a great way to keep track of your friends’ Twitter activity…too bad that it is not a bidirectional experience. I mean you can see what someone said on Twitter, but you can’t exactly reply, now can you?

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Luckily enough there is a solution. Senior Product Manager with Yahoo! Messenger, Sarah Bacon explains: “While Yahoo! Messenger does not yet support the ability to send out tweets from within the program to your followers, or to receive the tweets of all the people you’re following (unless they all happen to be on your Yahoo! Messenger contact list), there are some other services that can enable this feature for you. This week I learned about a new service called TweetSwitch that allows you to send and receive your Twitter messages within your IM program. They call themselves a “message forwarding service” for Twitter and they support a variety of IM programs, including Yahoo! Messenger.”

The way TweetSwitch works is pretty straightforward. Here’s the lowdown:
- Go to the TweetSwitch site and click Sign in with Twitter
- You’ll be directed to a page where you can sign into your Twitter account and link it with TweetSwitch
- You’ll be directed back to TweetSwitch. Now you can add Yahoo! Messenger as the IM service that will allow you to send and receive tweets. Simply select Yahoo! Messenger then type in your Yahoo! ID.

“Note that the interface for linking your IM with TweetSwitch is a little wonky – you have to click the blue add (+) icon, add your ID, and then drag the Y! icon into the Step 1 box,”added Sarah Bacon. “When it’s completed, you’ll see a “Perfect!” completion message. If you want to also receive direct messages and replies/mentions from Twitter, be sure to configure the DMs and Mentions sections too.”

After you do all this, you will receive a prompt in Yahoo! Messenger asking you to confirm TweetSwitch as a friend (TweetSwitch will be listed on your contacts list). Click on it when you want to send tweets; when you receive tweets, they’ll come in as messages from TweetSwitch.

Please note that TweetSwitch is still in Alpha, so it can prove to be buggy at times. There may be some lags in the service as well. For example, at the time of writing this the TweetSwitch site was down.



Tags: Yahoo!, Yahoo! Messenger, Twitter, TweetSwitch
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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