Author Archives: Callum

A new bookmarklet

There’s now a bookmarklet that sends the url of the page to the link shortener, instead of the post body. There’s a brand new bookmarklets page containing all the latest info, and the bookmarklet has gone from the compose screen. Cleaner, neater, nicer.

Thanks to Tim for the suggestion.

Composer supports scheduling

We’ve just deployed the ability to schedule posts. You’ll see a new “Post later” option on the compose screen. If you click it, you’ll get an option to choose the time and date when your message should be delivered.

This feature is brand new, this is the first draft, and it’s still in alpha. It’s best to only schedule posts for a month or so in advance. Further into the future should work, but a month is the safest window. Posts should be delivered within a minute of your specified time, but they could take up to 5 minutes under some circumstances.

We’ll work on making the interface prettier and easier to use, adding a calendar to choose the date, and so on. For now, it should get the job done. If you experience any issues or have any feedback at all, please let us know in the comments.

Twitter and their “shortener”

tl;dr Composer just got better at posting tweets, so post full urls instead of shortening.

Twitter automatically parse out any domain name or url in a tweet and replaces it with a link. If you type something like your 11 character domain gets converted into (currently) a 22 character link.

Until today, Composer wasn’t very good at understanding this. Sometimes, it would shorten your post before sending it to twitter when it wasn’t necessary. And worse, with the introduction of images, sometimes posts to twitter would fail. If you add an image, you lose (currently) 23 characters from your tweet because twitter posts a link to the image (22) plus a space (1).

So, from today, we’ve built custom handlers just for twitter. We parse out any domain or url, replace it with (currently) 23 characters, and then check if your tweet is <140.


This means, if you post a massive url to twitter, it gets auto shortened on twitter’s side, and now Composer is smart enough to figure that out. So if you’re posting links to Facebook, Twitter and WordPress, post the full url, no need to use a shortener.

Two caveats, we’re a little conservative because twitter’s links are 22 characters for http links and 23 for https links. So we assume all links are 23 just to be on the safe side. Also, we parse out all domains (like or which Twitter doesn’t. I filed a bug.

This was made substantially easier thanks to twitter-text-php, thanks to its authors.

Composer posts images

In our biggest release since launch, we’ve just deployed the ability to publish images.

Today, images are posted to Facebook, Twitter and WordPress. If you send an image post to other services, we’ll send just the text, without the image. We’re working on sending a link to the image to other services.

We send the image as a normal image post to both Facebook and Twitter. For WordPress, we get a bit creative. First, we upload the full original file to your WordPress site. Then, we get the image details back from WordPress, and insert the medium sized image into the post. This way, you can choose what size your Composer posted images appear in WordPress, by editing your “medium size” in your Media settings on your WordPress site.

To celebrate, I posted this picture of our office elephant to Facebook, Twitter and WordPress!

Office Elephant

Everybody can delete services

When building the first prototype for Composer, I skipped the ability to delete services because it seemed like something we could tackle later. Well later has come. We’ve just deployed the ability to delete services. There’s now a “delete” link next to each service name on the services page.

Until now I was deleting services by hand in response to email requests, but now all Composer users can delete their own services. Happy days. 🙂

Identica issues

Looks like we’re having issues posting to identica. They’ve switched to I think. Anyone know what that means for the API? I’ll probably look into it at some point, but if you’re hurting with the lack of Identica support, let me know in the comments, the more feedback, the faster it’ll get fixed.

Twitter outage

This morning we discovered a problem with our publishing to twitter. We were using the Twitter API version 1.0, which was shut down on Monday. We’ve updated to use the 1.1 API and publishing to twitter should now be back online. Apologies for any tweets that failed in the meantime.

To help with these errors, we’ve added deeper visibility into the status of posts on the history page. Under each post you’ll now see a row shows the status of that post against each service. The three statuses are pending, posted and failed. If you see pending, try refreshing after a few seconds. If you see consistent problems with one or more services, let us know.

Composers reaches 100 active users

We track a lot of Composer metrics thanks to the kind folks at StatHat. For my money, the key metric is active users, which is the number of users who posted at least one message through Composer in the last 30 days. Today, we’ve reached a landmark 100 active users.

We’re seeing a steady increase in the user count. The upwards slope of the curve tells me that we’re doing something that people are connecting with, something people care about. Folks are spreading the word, and that’s generating new users every day. It’s incredibly rewarding to see that.

We’ve got a lot of work to do, making Composer easier to use, padding out the missing pieces, adding services, the API, and a lot more. But today we’re taking a moment to celebrate that we’ve built something which is working for 100 people. Awesome. 🙂

Composer’s own link shortener

When you’re writing messages that are destined for Twitter, there’s often a need to shorten urls. Well, from today, Composer can do that for you. On the post screen you’ll notice a new input box in the top right hand corner. If you enter a URL into it and click “Shorten” the url will be shortened and added to your message.

The new short url will be added to the end of the current message (not where the cursor is in the text box, that will come later). Shortlinks will be on the domain and will be very short.

Also note that any urls posted in the message will not be shortened, only urls entered via the shortener, the rest are left as they are.

If you spot any issues with the layout, or have any other feedback, let us know in the comments.

Post to Blogger

We’re on a roll this week here at Composer HQ. We launched Facebook pages 2 days ago, and today we’re launching Blogger support. It’s live. Check it out. You can add blogger accounts here.

One blogger account can have access to many blogs. After you authorise Composer, we’ll present you with a list of your blogs. Tick as many as you want to add and click “Add Blogs”. Then you’ll land back on the Services page with the new blogs showing at the bottom of the list.

As always, any feedback or issues, shoot over a comment below.