I recently wrote about how Buffer can help you easily share great content to your social profiles without having to spend all day online. ifttt is another app that can help you automate tasks you want to accomplish so you can spend your time on more important things.
Quite simply, ifttt (short for If This Then That) is an app that lets you create automated Tasks or Recipes (tasks created and shared by others). For example, I have a task set up so every time I post a photo to Instagram, ifttt will automatically save a copy to a folder in my Dropbox account. I also have another task set up so when I star an article in my Google Reader, it will automatically add that article to my Buffer account to be posted to my social profiles.
You can create an account at ifttt.com and you’ll get up to 10 tasks for free. ifttt currently offers 41 different channels like Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Buffer, Facebook Pages, LinkedIn, Readability, SMS and many more. With all the channels they offer, the number of tasks you could possibly create are nearly endless.
ifttt continually adds new channels, so if one that you frequently use isn’t yet supported, chances are they’ll add it once enough people start using it. Below, I’ll explain how to go about setting up a Task on ifttt.
Each ifttt task starts having you answer a simple question: if this then that. For each stage in the process you’ll select a channel. For example, let’s say I wanted to create a task that would tweet out any picture on Instagram that I liked. Here’s how I would do that.
- Select the Instagram channel in the task creation section of ifttt.
- Click on New liked photo within the Instagram triggers menu
- Select the Twitter channel
- Select Post a tweet with image from the Twitter triggers menu
- Fill out any additional information (I added “Great photo on #instagram: ” to the beginning of each tweet)
- Click on Complete action and you’re done.
The screenshot at right is a tweet that was created by ifttt when I liked a photo on Instagram. If you’re just getting started on ifttt, it can be a bit overwhelming with so many options, but here are a few of my favorite Recipes for you to get started with:
- When Facebook Profile picture changes, change Twitter Profile picture
- Every time you’re tagged in a Facebook photo, save it to Dropbox
- When I star an item in Google Reader, send it to my Readability account
- When I favorite a video on YouTube, send it to Buffer
- Send any tweets I favorite to Evernote