How ifttt Puts the Internet to Work for You

It’s called ifttt – as in “gift” but without the “g”. It stands for “if this then that.” But if what, then what? Confused? Well, I was too when I first came across this site. I tried to make sense of what it is about, and what it can do for about an hour, and then finally started understanding it. In simplest words, ifttt automates your life online, to some level!

So basically, what ifttt does is make use of services like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter etc and use actions on one as a trigger and perform actions using the other. (If this, then that.)

what is ifttt

Consider these examples to make a better picture of this web app:

  • Send me an email when someone tags me on a photograph on Facebook
  • Tweet when I take a photograph using Instagram
  • Send me a text message when the weather turns ugly
  • Thank people in Twitter when they mention you or RT

Get it? Good. So let’s get you started with creating your first task, as ifttt calls it.

First step, sign up. It’s free, easy, and requires less than 30 seconds.

Next, login and you’ll be taken to your dashboard.

what is ifttt

Now, you can either use browse ifttt’s Recipes and activate them, or create a new task yourself. Let’s go over each of these, one at a time.

Recipes

what is ifttt

Recipes are the tasks created by others, or you. Here I’ll be using this recipe that thanks people in Twitter when they mention you or RT.

The first thing required here is to activate your channel here, Twitter.

what is ifttt

To do this click on the big blue Activate button and authorize ifttt using OAuth.

After this, you will be able to modify the tweet that will be sent to the person who RT you. You can use “Addins” like the original tweet text, tweet date etc. These Addins are different for different Channels.

what is ifttt

That’s it. Clicking on the “Crate task” button will now activate your task and it will be up and running.

At any point of time, you can view your task logs to check how things are going on, and if necessary, pause the task.

Create a Task

To create a new task, first you need to have an idea – what is it that you want to automate. Let’s say I want to receive a SMS each time I am mentioned on Twitter.

So, the ifttt for this would be: if mention of @MashGeek then send an SMS. Right?

To do this, I would go to the create page, and select the big blue “this” text. This would show loads of ‘trigger channels’ to select from.

For my task, the trigger channel is Twitter, so I chose that.what is ifttt

Next step is to chose a trigger; in my case it is “New mention of you”.

what is ifttt

Then click on “Create a trigger”. Next, we need to create an “action”: send an SMS!

So now click the big blue “that” and chose the required channel. For the SMS channel, a one time activation is required. It’s pretty straight-forward; enter your mobile number, they send you a PIN, enter the PIN onto the verification field, and done.

Moving on, now that my SMS trigger is activated, I can choose the “Send an SMS” action.

what is ifttt

Again, you can modify the SMS text that you will receive. Click on “Create task”, and done.

what is ifttt

Conclusion

ifttt is definitely a very useful web service that can change the way you do what you do online. It’s the next generation of task management apps. What do you have to say about ifttt? Let me know in the comments below.

2 Comments

  • bigjzoo says:

    I love this service. Very useful.

  • Micheal says:

    Hey, that’s pretty awesome! I myself actually have trouble keeping up with several sites and e-mail addresses. The ability to have all the important bits of information could be automatically searched for with this. It’s something I’m definitely gonna look in to.

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