IFTTT is an acronym for "Is this, then that", in other words "If this happens, do that". This service automates tasks via the website or app of the same name. Put simply, this software, launched in San Francisco in 2011, allows users to create "automated shortcuts" that connect various applications, connected devices and web services.

By creating predefined scenarios, you can reduce the number of actions that need to be performed and combine each service's functionalities. Originally used nearly exclusively by web professionals to automate online tasks, IFTTT now has more than 11 million users worldwide.

What is IFTTT for?

IFTTT automates tasks via applets, which used to be called recipes. These applets are predefined scenarios that, based on an action, determine the triggering of one or several actions in another service (also called a channel) on the web or in an app. For example, you can create a recipe that posts the same message on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn at the same time, a recipe that alerts you by email when a YouTube video is posted by someone you follow and a recipe that automatically saves any photo you publish on Facebook in a folder in your Dropbox.

Numerous applets already exist and are available to IFTTT users, although you can also modify them or create new recipes using the IFTTT interface or app.

IFTTT is therefore used to optimise your clicks to save time and avoid repetitive tasks (multiple publications, archiving, thematic monitoring, etc.). At least this was the initial goal: today, with a rising number of partner services and apps the list of compatible services and products is continually growing. These include Dropbox, Blogger, Gmail, Evernote, Twitter, Facebook, Wordpress, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, Vimeo, YouTube, MailChimp, Medium, Google Calendar and Instagram. More than 500 services are now partners and can therefore be used in applets, and this figure looks set to boom in the coming years. Discover all our products

Using the IFTTT site and creating a recipe

You don't need any special developer skills to use IFTTT, and the service is free to users. The only downside is that the website is currently only available in English. Even so, it's easy and intuitive to use and the vocabulary you need isn't very extensive. You just need to remember that the applet is the recipe you're going to use or create, the "trigger" is what sets off the action (the "if this") and the "action" is the task or tasks (the "that") that will result from the trigger. Meanwhile, the "service" is the channel that you'll be using to perform these actions (Dropbox, Instagram etc.).

To start using IFTTT, you'll first need to create your account. A wide range of applets is already available, sorted into categories (business tools, fitness, etc.), although you can also follow the recommendations or browse the most popular recipes. To create a recipe, choose a service (channel), define your trigger (the condition) and the action or chain of actions that result from it. It works the same on smartphones, and the service is available on both Android and iOS, so you can download the app from the Google Play Store and iTunes.

When you use it for the first time, to automate the tasks of the various channels (social media, Instagram, Gmail, Dropbox etc.) you'll need to enter your login details for each compatible channel and authorise the system to perform actions in them.

Controlling the Internet of Things

Developers and manufacturers of smart devices for the home very quickly realised the system's potential for the smart home, which is why more and more connected objects and devices are compatible and can be integrated into recipes.

Many users decide to control their own smart products (smart thermostat, smart watch, smart speaker, smart security alarm, etc.), notably via domestic voice assistants like Alexa and Google Home. This is a brand-new world that's opening up, particularly in the home automation segment, and the list of compatible products is continually growing.

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