A relatively new web service, IFTTT (If This Is That) lets you automate tasks with other popular services such as Dropbox, Twitter, Evernote, Facebook, Instapaper, and many more. IFTTT works by specifying what action you want to do, what will trigger the action, and it will execute it for you.
Channel, trigger, verb, material, consonant… These are just some of the words used by IFTTT, and although it may seem complicated at first glance, it is actually extremely easy to use.
Let’s say I want to stick with a certain country’s performance in the London 2012 Olympics. First, I enable the ESPN channel and immediately I’ll be asked to set a trigger from one of several preset options. In this case I would choose “New Olympic medal by country”. Next, I would specify which country to follow and create a trigger. That’s the ‘if this’ part.
You’ll need to choose a channel for the second part of your recipe.
Since I want to be notified by SMS, I’d choose that channel – although you can do a lot of other things like automatically post it to social networks or your personal calendar. After activating the SMS channel I will select the ‘Send me an SMS’ action and configure the message to my liking. That’s the ‘then that’ part.
The process on IFTTT’s site is very easy to follow. There are currently fifty different channels for bringing IFTTT functions to the physical world, including social networks, essentials like email and RSS feeds, and even Belkin’s WeMo devices. IFTTT’s tagline is “Put the Internet to Work for You” and that’s exactly what it does.
Of course, you don’t have to create all the work from the beginning, because there are already countless useful recipes to share. I’ve picked some of my favorites and created a few others to get you started.
Free Gifts & Deals
Receive daily PC game deals via email, IM (Google Talk), or SMS. The deals are sourced from SteamGameSales.com’s RSS feed and include data from 9 different stores. Alternatively, you can set up alerts whenever a specific game gets a discount and receive it via email, IM, SMS.
Receive Amazon’s daily Gold Box deals by email, IM or SMS. For example, if you’re bothered by too many alerts that aren’t of interest to you, try creating your own recipe using a specific keyword, such as SSD or LCD. Use the feed as a trigger with the URL https://rssfeeds.s3.amazonaws.com/goldbox.
Receive notification of Apple’s official free app of the week via email, IM or SMS. If you’re an Android user, there’s also a recipe for Amazon’s Appstore free App of the Day notifications by email, IM, or SMS.
Back up and social networks
Automatically send starred tweets containing links to Instapaper for later reading (note: many Twitter clients already include a ‘send to Instagram’ option, but this will work if you use the official client or web interface) May come.) A similar recipe is available. For starred items in Google Reader.
Automatically send every Facebook photo you’re tagged in to your Dropbox folder. This recipe is intended as a backup and a way to ensure that any photos associated with your name will be accessible to you at all times, even after they are removed from Facebook. You will need to sync your Facebook and Dropbox accounts.
Save all Instagram photos to Dropbox. Similar to the above IFTTT recipe, this will help Instagram users to keep a local backup of all their old old photos by syncing them with Dropbox.
Store your Foursquare check-ins in Google Calendar. While I’m not a big fan of check-in based social networks, it can come in handy while traveling if you want to keep a log of the places you’ve been – landmarks, restaurants, and so on – all on your calendar. with related dates.
Synchronize your Twitter profile picture with Facebook. This one is self explanatory and it will basically save you the extra step of using Facebook to update your Twitter profile picture whenever it changes.
text to escape. Need an excuse to run away from a boring or awkward situation? This recipe lets you trigger a customized phone call to your cell by sending a text message to IFTTT. You can customize the phone call message or create multiple messages that are triggered for different situations. Only US numbers are supported.
wake up call.
This recipe lets you schedule calls to your phone at a specific time and day of the week.
There are many weather-related recipes on IFTTT, for example, you can choose to receive the weather by SMS every morning, or just have an alert telling you whether it will rain or snow.
Other popular services that are available as channels, which we have not mentioned here, include Blogger, Gmail, Flickr, LastFM, YouTube, WordPress, etc.
Considering that you get a chance to play around with RSS feeds, what are you likely to do?