I have been using WordPress longer than a lot of people. I think I first moved from Windows Live’s blogging platform to WordPress around 2007. Because I’ve been here a long time, I’ve got some plugins that have been around for a long time. One of those is the Twitter Blackbird Pie WordPress Plugin.
The Blackbird Pie plugin was great when it came out. It let you use an embed code to add a live tweet directly into a post. It looked something like this:
The id was the unique id for one individual tweet. Twitter was just getting popular and this seemed really cool.
Later, Blackbird Pie got smarter and you could just give it the URL for the tweet on Twitter’s site.
The WordPress crew noticed the Blackbird Pie plugin and they even added it to WordPress in 2010. Instead of using the [blackbirdpie] embed code, you could just drop the url directly into your post. But dang it, it still wasn’t working for me.
I assumed the problem was that Twitter kept changing their interface and APIs and Blackbird Pie stopped working, regardless how you used it. For probably a couple of years now, all my Blackbird Pie -enabled tweet links have been broken. Each one has been showing the message “There was a problem connecting to Twitter”.
I’ve tried quite a few times to fix this, but I’ve gotten nowhere. All of the forum posts out there say things like “It was such a great plugin. Why doesn’t it work anymore?” The owner of the plugin seemed to give up on it, too.
WordPress 4.0 “Benny” came out today and I immediately upgraded, as I am want to do. One of the things I noticed in the release notes was that Twitter embeds are supposed to just work natively. “Well, why haven’t they been working on my site?”, I asked myself.
I don’t know why it occurred to me to do it, but I decided to uninstall the Blackbird Pie plugin. Presto, change-o, all was right with the world. Well, with tweets embedded in my test post. The problem was the Blackbird Pie plugin itself!
I've fixed the "There was a problem connecting to Twitter" issue on my WordPress blog and I'm about to publish a blog post showing how.
— Marc D Anderson (@sympmarc) September 5, 2014
You can fix this on your blog by searching for all of the Blackbird Pie embed codes and switching to plain old WordPress embeds.
- Go to Plugins and Deactivate and/or Deletel the Blackbird Pie plugin
- Search for all of your posts with the [blackbirdpie] embed code by going to http://YourWordPressBlog/wp-admin/edit.php?s=blackbird
- For each of those posts, edit it and copy the url to the tweet
- Delete the embed code line
- Paste the tweet url into your post
That should do it!