October 20, 2011

ifttt – Automate Your Web World

Don’t have time to backup every photo you post on Instagram or cross post all your Facebook updates to your Twitter account? When you use ifttt, you don’t have to. The web-based task application automatically completes certain actions on its users’ behalf every time pre-determined triggers have been tripped.

In an overwhelming sea of similar web-applications, ifttt really does stand out from the crowd. Enter your email address and select a password to begin. Next you’ll want to set up the tasks that you want ifttt to complete. To do this, choose a trigger on one of the 30 channels that ifttt supports. The types of triggers that ifttt will monitor run the gamut from Craigslist postings to Gmail messages to Vimeo uploads. For argument’s sake, let’s say you want ifttt to text your cell phone when Apple stock falls below $400. Click on the stock icon on the Triggers page, type in Apple’s stock symbol, and type 400. Next you have to include the action. Ifttt has 23 action channels to choose from, so you can decide whether you want to be notified by SMS, email, Facebook, or any of the other 20 options available. After activating the action channel of your choice, you can choose exactly how you want the message to be sent. If your goal is to notify other people of what’s going on, then you can set up ifttt to automatically send a tweet from your Twitter account whenever the Apple stock falls below the level you set. Create an optional description of your task for future references, and viola—you’re done.

Ifttt checks tasks once every 15 minutes, so you’re guaranteed to find out quickly any time the trigger you’ve set goes off. The app also has a ‘recipes’ section where you can view some of the task ideas that other users have set up. These recipes are a great way to get inspiration for new tasks and to see how other people are using this innovative app.

Practical Uses:

  • Automatically backup all your Facebook photos on Dropbox
  • Email your mom each time you post new photos of the kids on Flickr
  • Find out immediately when your stocks tumble
  • Make sure to cross post all your tweets on Facebook

Insider Tips:

  • The name ifttt comes from the phrase, if this, then that
  • Ifttt currently has 30 trigger channels and 23 action channels
  • The web-app searches for updates to your triggers every 15 minutes
  • Users can get emails every time a photo of them is tagged on Facebook

What we liked:

  • Getting started with ifttt is incredibly simple
  • People who use ifttt don’t have to spend so much time manually updating all their networks each day
  • Ifttt already has an impressive roster of trigger and action channels
  • Ifttt users can automatically send tweets when photos are posted of them, even if they’re not at home

What we didn’t like:

  • Nothing


Company Info:

  • Launched: September 2011
  • Privately Held
  • Headquarters: San Francisco, California
  • Founded by: Linden Tibbets and Jesse Tane
  • Web site:


  • Free

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