Web Browser Wednesday

A few weeks ago we wrote about a Firefox extension that could post to Twitter right from the address bar, and it impressed me to say the least. One commenter, who goes by the name lilmoder, cleverly pointed out that you can do the same thing in Opera using its keyword search functionality. I was rather amazed with how the whole thing worked, and then I started to think about the possibilities it had.

Why this is Opera-only: Opera has “POST” capabilities for keyword searches, which Firefox isn’t capable of doing. For that reason the trick I’m about to show you only works in Opera.

After I found out about the trick I decided to see if I could update the status of multiple social networks simultaneously, and after a little digging I found just what I was looking for. Using a single keyword “search” in Opera I’ve managed to update Twitter, Jaiku, Pownce, Facebook, Myspace, Bebo, LinkedIn, Identica, Friendfeed, and several more social services simultaneously. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?

So how do you do all of this? It’s actually simpler than you might think. We’re going to make use of a free service called HelloTxt that will do all of the dirty work for us. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Create and configure a free HelloTxt account. To configure your account go to the settings, and enter in your credentials for each of the services you want to update the status on. Part of the configuration screen should look something like this:
    hellotxt settings-2.png
  2. Pull up the mobile version of HelloTxt by visiting You must visit the mobile version in order for the trick to work. Make sure all of the services you want to use are checked. If they aren’t you may need to go back to the HelloTxt settings and configure your services.
    mobile hellotxt.png
  3. Right-click in the text field where you would normally type your post, and choose the Create Search option.
    hellotxt create search.png
  4. Enter in a keyword that you want to use to post your messages. I’m going to use the keyword “post”, and you should take a look at the next step to see how the keywords work if you’re not familiar with them. I recommend going with a keyword that is 4 letters or less so that it is simple to use.
    opera keyword.png
  5. Now it’s time to enjoy the simultaneous posting to all of your favorite social networks. In Opera’s address bar type your keyword followed by your status update, and then press Enter to submit it to all of your social networks!
    opera post update.png
  6. Look, it really worked:
    twitter status-1.png

So that’s how you can do some quick and easy posting to your favorite social networks right from the Opera address bar. One thing that you’ll probably notice is that every time you do post an update you’ll be taken to the HelloTxt page that tells you whether the posting was successful for each of your services. That might not be optimal for those of you wanting it to happen transparently, but it is nice knowing that each status update was done successfully.

–Adding/Removing Services–

If you ever decide that you want to add more services you’ll need to go through each of the steps (starting at step 2) again. This is because the submission URL changes depending on which services you have enabled at HelloTxt, and the easiest way to grab the updated URL is by recreating the keyword “search”. Before doing this you’ll need to delete the existing keyword search for HelloTxt by going to Tools -> Preferences -> Search, and then deleting the corresponding entry. I’m guessing you won’t be doing this too often because you probably won’t be adding/removing services all the time.


Opera might not be as extensible as Firefox is, but that doesn’t mean it falls short in functionality. After seeing this work in Opera I’m actually wishing that I could do the same thing in Firefox, but unfortunately Firefox’s keywords don’t have “POST” functionality with them.