How to Schedule Posts to Bluesky and Cross-post from Other Platforms
Bluesky is fast emerging as one of the major contenders in the race for the top Twitter (X) alternative — and with good reason.
The new platform is easy to use, it offers a high degree of control over your timeline, and — thankfully, given X recently axed the feature — headlines still pull through with links.
Bluesky, which was created by former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, is a decentralized, invite-only social network built on an open-source protocol. People are flooding to the platform — it hit 1 million users in September 2023. And what with Pebble/T2, another Twitter alternative, closing shop, Bluesky may soon see another spike in popularity.
It makes sense that users are looking to add it to their social media management system — and that having Bluesky as a channel in Buffer is a highly requested feature! Rest assured, we are working on it. You can keep up to date with our progress on that front in our transparent feature request system, Buffer Suggestions.
If you’re a Bluesky newbie or on the fence about signing up, I recommend checking out our Bluesky beginner’s guide for everything you need to know about the platform.
In the meantime, Buffer CEO Joel Gascoigne and Staff Product Manager Brandon Green have been playing around with a pretty nifty iOS app, Shortcuts, and came up with a really simple workaround.
Not only does it cross-post content from another platform to Bluesky (really handy if you’re maintaining a presence on X), but you can also schedule that content with Buffer. We thought it would be helpful to share it here.
Wait, what are Shortcuts?
Shortcuts is an app by Apple that you’ll find preinstalled on your iPhone. In a nutshell, Shortcuts creates a simple way for you to help your apps talk to each other, so you can link various actions together to create shortcuts and automation.
The former are manually triggered in the Shortcuts app, and the latter will happen automatically. Many of them can be used with Siri voice commands, so you don’t even have to touch your phone to set off a chain of events.
Here are some useful, albeit basic, examples:
Take a Break allows you to set an alarm and turn on Do Not Disturb until that alarm goes off.
Text Running Late sends a text to all the attendees of an upcoming event that you are running late.
It’s a pretty powerful tool and relatively easy to use, even if you have no coding experience.
One of the best things about Shortcuts is that they’re shareable with iCloud, so creators like Brandon and Joel can make theirs available to others.
For example, Joel created a Shortcut that automatically posted anything he shared on Mastodon to Bluesky, too, thanks to Bluesky’s API. (For the uninitiated, API stands for application programming interface and is code that enables two software programs, tools, or apps to communicate with each other).
Brandon was then able to take that shortcut and remix it into one that allows you to choose any channel in Buffer (including Mastodon and X) to cross-post to Bluesky.
He was even able to make sure it checks your character count, so you know you’re not going over Bluesky’s 300-character limit.
If you’re running an older version of iOS or you didn’t think you’d have any use for the app and deleted it to free up space (guilty!), you can download it here.
Here’s how to set up and use the ‘Multipost to Buffer’ shortcut:
How to set up the Multipost With Buffer shortcut
In order for this Shortcut to work, you’ll need:
It’s worth noting that, while I’ve broken these steps into each separate action for clarity, the setup is a lot quicker and easier than it looks! And — the best part — you’ll only have to do all this once. When it comes to posting, there are only three steps to complete!
First, let’s get the shortcut up and running:
Step 1. Open the shortcut on your iPhone
Brandon’s Multipost to Buffer shortcut is available via this link. Be sure to open it on your phone. Here’s a button for the skim readers here:
This will open the Shortcuts app and take you to a page that looks like the one below. Tap on Set up Shortcut.
Step 2. Connect the Buffer Channel you want to post to
Under ‘Configure This Shortcut’, choose the Buffer channel you want to cross-post to Bluesky with.
Head over to the Bluesky app or bsky.app on your computer and navigate to your profile. Copy the handle beneath your name at the top of your profile (without the ‘@’ sign).
Head back to the Shortcuts app, and paste your Bluesky handle into the text box on the next ‘Configure This Shortcut’ screen. I’ve included mine as an example in the screenshot below. Once you’ve done that, tap Next.
Step 4: Enter your Bluesky-generated password
Not to be confused with your login password, Bluesky’s app passwords allow other tools to access your account in a limited way without giving them your full login credentials.