The number of web-based applications out there keeps exploding. There are so many amazing opportunities to make these tools work together, but you could sink a huge amount of time into reading up on different APIs and trying to work out how to get everything to play nicely together.
The alternative is IFTTT — a tool that has already done the hard work of integrating a bunch of different apps together. Once you’ve got an account, you just have to pick and choose what you want to work with. There are 47 different ‘channels’ at last count, most with multiple ways you can interact with them.
IFTTT doesn’t offer the flexibility of coding something up by hand. But it does make life a lot easier for those more common tasks.
The Recent Rebranding
On June 20th, IFTTT announced a few updates, including a rebranding. Visually, the site got a new logo and a new wordmark. It made IFTTT more recognizable from a brand standpoint. That’s a factor that can be easy to overlook online: we’re all so concerned with actually getting text up on the screen that we often rush through design and a few other factors.
But IFTTT also simplified the language the site uses to refer to the different elements of the ‘recipes’ that users can set up to handle different tasks. The language is more consistent and takes the recipe metaphor further: ‘add-ins’ are now ‘ingredients,’ for instance. While the argument can be made that calling everything by names straight out of a cookbook could be confusing, there aren’t a set of names that are going to be dramatically more recognizable to the broader audience that IFTTT is looking at.
The initial users of the site definitely tend towards the more technically-savvy — I’ve seen more than a few programmers talking about how great IFTTT is. But the real value of the site is going to be to users who aren’t able to whip up a program of their own to accomplish a given task. This rebranding will definitely make it easier to focus on that audience.
Getting Off the Computer
One aspect of IFTTT’s growth makes a crucial startup trend clear: the site now offers recipes that interact with devices in the physical world. The Belkin WeMo devices can let IFTTT users trigger events in the physical world from their computers and vice versa. We’re seeing more startups that have some sort of hardware aspect and being able to interact with them will only become more necessary.