What is IFTTT and how does it work

IFTTT is an automation service. Many services in the technology world are API based. That means through functions called API’s (Application Programming Interface) they can be asked to perform certain function. For example, when you click Send in your email, there is an API function sent to the email service server asking it to send the contents of your email text box to the email address in the To: box. This is used so that machines can send emails without the need of a User Interface.

Other Automation Services:

How to use IFTTT

You can use IFTTT by automating various tasks in your life. In order to do that, the services you use have to have an IFTTT integration.

Some examples of usage for IFTTT:

  • Turn OFF the thermostat when your calendar has an event named “Vacation”
  • Send yourself a text message when there is snow/rain in the forecast for your area during the time of your commute
  • Post on all your social media accounts when you write a new blog post.
  • Send yourself an email with the joke of the day.
  • Save all the tweets you like in a Google Sheets file.
  • Save a link to all the YouTube Videos you liked in a file

Social Media Automation using IFTTT

You may have seen on Twitter or Facebook that some posts are published via IFTTT. Many bloggers or website administrators setup extensive IFTTT schedules to publish or collect data from their social media accounts using IFTTT

So how does it really work in plain English

IFTTT uses one of the basic programming command existing in most of the programming languages.

The simple IF command.

IFTTT is an acronym that simply signifies IF This Then That.

In simple terms, if This condition occurs, then do That Action. The IFTTT website is built on the principle that devices and apps of today interact.


If Condition Then Do Action

If I get an e-mail with the subject “Job Offer” Then send me a text.

If I like a video on YouTube Then Share that video with my Friends on Facebook

If I post a picture on Instagram Then Share the picture on my Twitter and Facebook

Get the idea?

How to schedule social media posts

In order to schedule events to happen, you need to put them on a list, on a schedule. A Calendar is such a list. It contains a list of events with a title, description, a start and end date. Exactly what you would need for a social media calendar.

You can store all the posts you want to publish on your social media channels in a Google Calendar. You move events around in your calendar just like in a normal calendar and you even import/export them through the use of csv files.

All of this for IFTTT is free (as of 2019). With other automation portals you have limits on the number of API calls to use on a free account (Zapier) or even have to pay a licence (Microsoft Flow is part of the Microsoft Office Licence)

Learn how to schedule tweets using Google Calendar.

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