IFTTT (short for “If This Then That”) is a service that allows its users to create event triggers (known as recipes) in order to join or connect separate web applications. While that semi-formalized definition is as dry as dirt, the power it represents can be shown via examples.

I use IFTTT to automate the picture photo posting process and to get around technical challenges I have encountered when trying to consistently post my Instragram photos to Facebook. Consider the following recipes:

Recipe: If new photo post on your Tumblr blog, then post a tweet with image to Twitter
Recipe: If new photo post on your Tumblr blog, then upload a photo from URL to Facebook photos

The first recipe posts new Tumblr photo posts to my Twitter account with the photo as an attachment, while the second posts new photos on that same Tumblr blog to my Facebook account. So my workflow goes like this: use Instagram to post to Tumblr blog, then those Tumblr photo posts are automatically posted to both Twitter and Facebook via IFTTT. Sure, one could simply choose both Twitter and Facebook from Instagram directly, but this solution overcomes Instagram’s tendency to occasionally blow a post to Facebook while also allowing me to maintain a Tumblr archive of my Instagram shots. It also represents an easy way to post Instagram pictures on Twitter, something that I had problems with as Twitter always wanted to shortlink my pictures instead of attaching them.

Recipe: Office365 Service Notifications to PushOver

This recipe looks at the Office365 Service Notification RSS feed and pushes new entries to Pushover. Pushover is an iOS app that generates notifications for my iPhone. So every time there is a new or updated Office365 incident, I receive a notification on my iPhone.

I’ve also created other recipes that generate medication iPhone reminders at specific times, push out new IFTTT version updates to reminder, and notifications for Netflix new releases. I really hope that this service remains active and viable for a long period of time, I’ve become dependent on it. Dependency like that is a sure sign that I find it valuable.

Setup your IFTTT account here.

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