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In just a few easy steps, the web service IFTTT allows users to connect more than 200 web applications and services (e.g. YouTube, Twitter, or electronic devices) to one another. True to its namesake motto, IFTTT, short for ‘if this, then that’, lets users define rules, also known as recipes, in order to automate certain processes.
These recipes are composed of two different components: the trigger and its resulting action. For example, users can decide that every image posted on Instagram should automatically be saved in their Dropbox account.
In addition to these ‘if’ recipes, there are also more complex ‘do’ recipes, which execute user-defined actions on a one time basis. IFTTT’s official site provides a collection of different recipes that cover a diverse range of cases. You can also download the IFTTT app from the site, which allows you to control IFTTT while on the go.
Is IFTTT right for me?
There are many reasons and scenarios that justify using services like IFTTT. Not only do they simplify and automate complex processes, they also make sure that no important deadlines, news, or new releases are missed, a feature resulting from the service’s automatic reminder service. The different kinds of IFTTT make it an attractive option for many different target groups.
- Social Media
Whether it be for private or for business purposes, those who spend a lot of time on different social networks should think twice about opting out of this service. There are many different recipes for Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest that make using these platforms a much easier venture. Photos that you’ve liked or have been linked to can be automatically stored in your preferred cloud storage space, for example. Alternatively, you can also receive messages via e-mail or text whenever your profile or posts have been linked. Recipes are especially attractive options for online marketing campaigns that connect different platforms with one another. This would mean, for example, that each and every Tweet is also posted directly to your Facebook feed.
- Blog optimization
Connect your blog with different applications and save valuable time in the process by allowing external publications to be fed directly into it. Automatically backing up your blog’s data or integrating contact data from other platforms into your blog’s software are additional advantages this service offers.
- Log book
Recipes based on your geographic location measure the length of your stay and record this information into Excel tables or Google spreadsheets. This can help give you an overview of where you have been and how much time you spent there. Your phone calls (time and conversation partner) or working hours can also be kept track of by different applications.
Never miss an appointment again with the help of IFTTT. Have your calendar checked and receive a message via e-mail or text whenever an appointment for an important event nears.
- General notifications
The same function that applies for the ‘reminders’ feature can also be used to keep you up to date on the latest film or music releases, news stories, or stock market developments. Connect SoundCloud, for example, to your e-mail program or mobile device and receive a notification whenever your favorite band releases a new song.
- Home automation/Smart Home
Stay informed on the latest weather patterns by having reports sent to you with useful advice. For example, users can receive updates on approaching weather patterns coupled with reminders on how they can prepare accordingly to face the elements. Electronic devices with IFTTT interface offer additional options such as the ability to program your cell phone to go into silent mode when you arrive at work, or to control lights and heating independent of your geographical location.
IFTTT’s role in online marketing
IFTTT’s diverse array of applications make it an exceptional tool for anyone doing professional online marketing. For starters, this service makes it easy to keep an eye on the competition by selecting to receive news on competing companies or businesses whenever something’s published. You can also subscribe to your competitor’s newsletter and have it archived into a memo or note. Recipes with this purpose in mind can connect your e-mail account to services like Evernote. Users are able to regularly comb through IFTTT compatible news portals, RSS feeds, or social media networks for certain keywords and save posts, creating a depository of sorts for interesting content for later use. All of this helps you stay up to date.
The biggest advantage IFTTT users gain with the service is the vast amount of time they’re able to save by interlinking and optimizing their social media platforms, blogs, and websites. You only need to post new entries once; IFTTT recipes take over from there and make sure that they appear on all of your important platforms. With your own customized recipes, you can carry out cross-platform modifications, like automatically exchanging profile pictures, for example. Hours normally reserved for maintaining social media platforms are freed up; additional automated archiving processes also help optimize your work structure.
Custom recipes and IFTTT alternatives
If you’re still unable to find the right IFTTT recipe among the options already available, there’s always the possibility of creating your own. Just log onto your account and pull up the recipe generator. This feature allows you to choose from a list of triggers and actions of all the compatible services and devices and combine them according to your needs. With this service, your creativity knows no bounds.
Those who are still not convinced by IFTTT at this point should consider looking into alternatives. These generally offer the majority of standard services and devices and often have more specialized offers that aren’t supported by IFTTT. Such options include: We Wired Web and zapier. Try out one or more of these options, and find the best solution for automating your processes.