ifttt – Possibly My Favorite New Toy!

There’s a new social media tool in town (isn’t there always) but this one’s a lot different.  It’s called ifttt (if this then that) and could very well become my favorite tool.  It’s in beta phase right now, so I won’t proclaim it to be my favorite just yet.

This will really date me, but the name of this tool resonates with me because when I took my very first computer programming class back in high school, everything we did was based on “if this, then that”.  For instance if A ~> B, if D +1 ~>F.  So I completely get this concept.

ifttt creates recipes for putting the internet to work for you by combining tasks, triggers, actions, and channels.

A task would be: when something happens (this) then do something else (that).

The this part of the task is called the trigger.  For instance, I take a photo and post it to Instagram, or Someone retweets something that I tweeted.

The that part of the task is called the action.  An example of that would be: “send me an e-mail” or “thank the person who retweeted me”.

  Triggers (this) and actions (that) are derived from channels.  Some examples of channels would be Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Foursquare, Evernote, The Weather Channel, etc.

When you put one channel’s trigger together with another channel’s action, that would become a task!  For instance, I set up the one that was suggested ont he website: Save all the photos that I post to Instagram in my Dropbox.  Is that not incredible??

photo from ifttt.com


Once a task has been created, it becomes a recipe and can be shared with friends and other ifttt users.   You can find lots of recipes on the website under the categories “what’s hot“, “what’s new” and “what’s popular“, although “hot” and “popular” seem a little redundant.

Each recipes lists the creator, the date of creation and how many times it has been used. Some of the interesting ones I found were:

  • When Facebook profile picture changes, update Twitter profile picture.
  • Thanking people in Twitter when they mention you or RT.  (BIG time saver)
  • When a new book is added to Kindle Top 100 Free eBooks, send me an email.
  • Add your foursquare check-in history to your Google Calendar
  • When a new book is added to Kindle Top 100 Free eBooks, send me an email.
  • When I like photo on Instagram post this on Posterous.
  • Add to your Readability reading list by fave’ing a tweet.
  • tumble every tweet that contains an image.

Tasks can be turned on and off.  When turned back on, they pick up as if you had just created them so there will be no data saved when the task is turned off.

Tasks poll for new data every 15 minutes.

Oh, and did I mention the recipes are VERY easy to use?  You’re going to love this tool!



  1. Shelley, This is intriguing and I’ll have to read your post a couple more times to really understand it, but overall it looks like pretty interesting and able to do a number of tasks allowing you to use your time more efficiently. Look forward to hearing more about ifttt. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I know Yvonne! I have to read it over and over…bookmarked it! Awesome tool..I can’t wait to try it!
    Thanks Shelley!

    • Hi Annette,
      I’ve already set it up to do a few things and am please with its functionality so far. :)
      Hope it works for you too. Just search the “recipes”.


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