|Original author(s)||Linden Tibbets, Jesse Tane |
|Initial release||7 September 2011|
|Operating system||Android 4.4 or later |
iOS 10 or later
|Type||Conditional statement creator, task automator, internet of things|
If This Then That (commonly known as IFTTT, //) is a service that allows a user to program a response to events in the world of various kinds. There is a long list of kinds of events to which IFTTT can respond, all detectable via the Internet. An example event is that Weather Underground reports rain is forecast for tomorrow. Another is that someone tagged the user in a photo on Facebook. There is similarly a long list of kinds of responses that are possible, all executable via the Internet. An example response would be to send an email to the user saying rain is forecast or copy the aforementioned photo to the user's archive.
IFTTT has partnerships with hundreds of service providers that supply event notifications to IFTTT and execute commands that implement the responses, but some event and command interfaces are just public APIs.
The programs, called applets, are simple and created graphically.
On December 14, 2010, Linden Tibbets, the co-founder of IFTTT, posted a blog post titled “ifttt the beginning...” on the IFTTT website, announcing the new project. The first IFTTT applications were designed and developed by Tibbets and co-founder Jesse Tane and the product officially launched on September 7, 2011.
By April 2012, users had created one million tasks. In June 2012, the service entered the Internet of Things space by integrating with Belkin Wemo devices, allowing applets to interact with the physical world. In July 2013, IFTTT released an iPhone app and later released a version for iPad and iPod touch. Then in April 2014, an Android version came out. By the end of 2014, the IFTTT business was valued at approximately US$170 million.
On February 19, 2015, IFTTT launched three new applications. Do Button triggers an action when you press it. Do Camera automatically uploads the image to the service of your choice (Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox, etc). Do Notes does the same as Do Camera except with notes instead of images. In November 2016, the four apps were merged. By December 2016, the company announced a partnership with JotForm to integrate an applet to create actions in other applications.
Part of the revenue of IFTTT comes from "IFTTT Platform" partners, who pay to have their products connected to the service.
On September 10, 2020, the service switched to a limited freemium model with a subscription-based version known as "IFTTT Pro", which allows services to use conditional statements and query data for more complex tasks. At the same time, all existing users were limited to three custom applets, being required to subscribe to Pro in order to remove this limitation. This decision generated criticism from IFTTT's community of users.
IFTTT employs the following concepts:
- Services (formerly known as channels) are the basic building blocks of IFTTT. They mainly describe a series of data from a certain web service such as YouTube or eBay. Services can also describe actions controlled with certain APIs, like SMS. Sometimes, they can represent information in terms of weather or stocks. Each service has a particular set of triggers and actions.
- Triggers are the "this" part of an applet. They are the items that trigger the action. For example, from an RSS feed, you can receive a notification based on a keyword or phrase.
- Actions are the "that" part of an applet. They are the output that results from the input of the trigger.
- Applets (formerly known as recipes) are the predicates made from Triggers and Actions. For example, if you like a picture on Instagram (trigger), an IFTTT app can send the photo to your Dropbox account (action).
- Ingredients are basic data available from a trigger—from the email trigger, for example; subject, body, attachment, received date, and sender’s address.
- IFTTT can automate web-application tasks, such as posting the same content on several social networks.
- Marketing professionals can use IFTTT to track mentions of companies in RSS feeds.
- IFTTT also is used in home automation, for instance switching on a light when detecting motion in a room (with associated compliant devices).
IFTTT has been received positively by Forbes, Time, Wired, The New York Times, and Reader's Digest. Microsoft developed a similar product called Microsoft Flow (later renamed Microsoft Power Automate).
- Tibbets, Linden. "ifttt the beginning..." IFTTT blog. Retrieved October 16, 2014.
- "IFTTT - Apps on Google Play". play.google.com. Retrieved 2019-10-25.
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- "IFTTT Pro will let users create more complex actions for $10 per month". Engadget. Retrieved 2020-09-14.
- Ricker, Thomas (2020-09-10). "IFTTT introduces Pro subscriptions, limits free version to three applets". The Verge. Retrieved 2020-09-14.
- Charlton, Alistair. "IFTTT Pro causes user backlash as free access restricted". Gearbrain. Retrieved 17 September 2020.
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- Angeles, Sara (August 12, 2013). "10 Ways IFTTT Can Help Your Business". Archived from the original on October 22, 2014. Retrieved October 27, 2014.
- Ackerman, Elise (September 23, 2012). "IFTTT: San Francisco Startup Lets Anyone Control The Internet of Things". Forbes. Retrieved November 13, 2012.
- McCracken, Harry (September 18, 2012). "50 Best Websites 2012". Time. Retrieved November 13, 2012.
- Flaherty, Joseph (October 13, 2012). "Socks Are the New Hoodie: A Startup Reinvents Swag". Wired. Retrieved November 13, 2012.
- Wortham, Jenna (September 23, 2011). "A Web Tool That Lets You Automate the Internet". The New York Times. Retrieved November 13, 2012.
- Beres, Damon. "The IFTTT Recipes that Will Make Your Life Better". Retrieved March 10, 2014.
- Foley, Mary Jo (2016-05-04). "Where did Microsoft's new Flow event-automation service come from?". ZDNet. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2016-11-25.
Microsoft's new alternative to IFTTT can trace its origins back to a couple of other services developed by the company's Cloud and Enterprise group. [...] 'Microsoft Flow is a stand-alone SaaS Service that is designed for broad usage, including business users that want to automate day-to-day tasks. [...]'