IFTTT, a cool and free automation tool
Hopefully a not so boring introduction
This is technically my very first post for this blog and I hope you’ll appreciate my style of putting less words while assuming I get the message across.
It simply stands for ‘if this then that’.
In a nutshell, it is a tool that connects two different services and automates them without any coding from the user. Let’s say you want your new Twitter followers to be automatically added to your Google contacts. Or your Twitter profile picture to be automatically updated with your new awesome Instagram selfies – imagine how cool that would be! You can even backup your new text messages on your Android device to a Google spreadsheet.
These are only some of the hundreds of automations that can be done there.
A very short history…
On 14th of December 2010, Linden Tibbets has posted their first blog, ‘ifttt the beginning‘ announcing the first beta invites for their project. And now, (by the time of this writing) they have more than 400 services to connect to, and with over a billion applets running every month. So you can imagine how many combinations one can make.
A free service.
Signing-up is simple, free, and does not require to fill-out a lengthy form. Just an email address and an appointed password, then you’re good to go!
Upon Logging in…
The interface is very user friendly and is easy to use. At the top left-hand side, there are three options/menu to help a user to get started.
The default one is the ‘Discover’ where it shows all the recommended applets for you in grid view. These are premade ones in case you don’t want to manually create an applet. Mine is mostly Gmail and Google Drive.
The ‘Search’ option is to actually search for a list of recommended applets for a specific service. Example, when you search for Gmail, it will list down all the recommended premade applets with all the possible services that will work with it.
‘My Applets’ is where all your created and currently running applets are shown. You’ll notice an On/Off indicator on the lower-left hand corner of the applet. ‘New Applet’ button is located at the left side of the screen, this is where new applets can be created manually.
Creating an applet.
It is pretty simple. Just select a service, then select a trigger under that, in our example, I selected the ‘new follower’ and Twitter is the service. Then an action, which is adding the user’s available details from Twitter to Google Contact’s contact field.
Here’s a simple screencast I prepared showing how to do it.
So imagine the different combination of services you can automate. One example is whenever I’m tagged in a picture on a Facebook post(as a trigger), then the image will be uploaded and saved to my Google Drive(the action).
These automations are not for online services alone, it also has support for IOs, Android, and even your home appliances!
Here’s one example where it can track your GE fridge’s usage in Google Drive.
Cool tools, such as this, are a good solution so we don’t have to do things manually. However, there are services that are not yet available here, like Zendesk. I also noticed for some social media services, to post on Instagram as an action is also not available, this could be due to IG’s T&C or to IFTTT’s target market. But overall, this is such a wonderful, and a FREE tool that I come across with online.
If you haven’t tried IFTTT before, go ahead and try it! And let me know in the comments below what are your thoughts about the tool.
About the author
Ernest Ducay Jr
Memra Project Admin
Loves green tea, dogs, and cats. I'm also a freelance WordPress site developer.