What if you could write an update online that would trigger all of the lights in your house to turn off?
The idea of using one service to execute an action on another service is nothing new, but the service IFTTT does it better than most. IFTTT, which stands for “if this, then that,” helps link your apps so they work together. It can help you post all your Instagram pictures to Tumblr automatically, or send you an e-mail every time Netflix updates its streaming choices. It can send you a text message reminding you to bring an umbrella and galoshes if a Weather app shows that it looks like rain.
All in all, it’s a nifty tool that can help you streamline your daily Internet errands and make the most of the apps you use by creating these “recipes” for online commands.
And now one of the glaring omissions to the IFTTT roster is no longer: The app is re-introducing four recipes that connect to Twitter. IFTTT used to have plenty of ways to connect to Twitter, but once the micro-blogging service changed its API guidelines in 2012, IFTTT’s Twitter-based recipes were disabled.
But now they’re back, since IFTTT worked with Twitter to come up with recipes that honored the guidelines but still let users create automated triggers. IFTTT users will now be able to use Twitter in a number of different ways.
For starters, now you can issue a command every time you make a new tweet, so if you want to post your tweets to Facebook, Evernote, or elsewhere, you can set it up so they go wherever you want, whenever you tweet.
Another function lets you issue commands with Twitter hashtags, so it will hook up with another app whenever you use a specific hashtag. This one is super-useful – if you have certain smart home appliances that link up, like Hue lights, you can even change the color of your living room lighting scheme with a simple #hue tag.
You can also set things up so that every time you tweet a link, it will appear in Tumblr or elsewhere on the Web – a good way to remember all of the good articles you’ve shared. And you can set up commands based on your Twitter favorites, as well, arranging them in a spreadsheet or to Evernote.
The functionality is still limited compared to what IFTTT used to be able to do with Twitter, but it’s a good start in the right direction, and it confirms that the automation start-up is going places.