IFTTT allows you to connect your different web services and social media accounts. That’s my simplistic, one sentence description. But it doesn’t even begin to describe the number of possibilities and usefulness of this service.
IFTTT stands for “if this then that,” which is a programming term that says: If this happens then trigger that action. When you apply this to your web services amazing things can happen.
How it works
The easiest way to explain what IFTTT can do for you is to give you some examples.
IFTTT lets you connect with 61 different web services. These web services are called Channels. Channels could be Facebook, Twitter, Evernote, Calendar, Email, Weather, and many others.
Then you have a Trigger. An example of a trigger is: I’m tagged in a Facebook photo.
And then there are Actions. An action could be: Send me an email.
When you put a trigger and an action together you have a recipe An example of a recipe would be: If I’m tagged in a Facebook photo, send me an email.
It sounds simple, and it is. But with 61 channels available at the moment, plus a lot of different triggers, I’m sure you can create some awesome recipes.
Plus, recipes can be shared. So there are thousands of recipes already created that you can use.
Creating a recipe
After you’ve signed up to IFTTT you will be taken to your dashboard. To create a new recipe click on the large “Create A Recipe” button.
The first step is to choose a channel for the trigger, the trigger is the “this” in “if this then that.”
When you have chosen the trigger channel, you will need to connect IFTTT with that service. I chose Facebook as my trigger channel.
Then you need to choose the actual trigger. For my trigger I chose: New photo uploaded by you.
When you choose the trigger click on the “Create Trigger” button.
Now it’s time to choose the action, or the that in if this then that. Click on the highlighted “that.”
Then choose an action channel and activate the service with IFTTT.
And now you can choose an action for that channel. I chose Google Drive as my channel and upload a file from URL as my action.
Then you create the action. In this instance, you can choose the file URL, file name, and the path to download the file to. Then click “Create Action.”
The final step is to give your recipe a description and create it.
The recipe will be turned on by default. From your dashboard, you can disable the recipe, edit it or make it public by sharing it. Personal recipes will check for new trigger data every 15 minutes. Some recipes will run as soon as they receive trigger data, these are called Quick Recipes, and are indicated by a lightening bolt icon.
A great feature of IFTTT is the ability to share recipes with the community. There have been thousands of recipes already created. To view shared recipes click on the “Browse” link in the top menu.
You can sort recipes by What’s Hot, New or Popular. You can also filter out recipes by channels. Here I filtered all the recipes containing Evernote and sorted by Popular. As you can see there are over 5500 recipes to choose from.
To use a shared recipe click the recipe box, read the description on the next page and click ’Use Recipe’.
IFTTT is a great idea with a lot of potential. The ability to create actions based on what happens on your different web service is a unique service as far as I know. It has been implemented well and is very easy to use.
IFTTT can save you a lot of time, and should be very handy if you need to stay on top of social marketing, or just want to monitor and collect important data.
IFTTT is free to use for now. And I can only see it getting better when more channels and triggers are added, and the community grows.