IFTTT And Twitter Reunite (And It Feels So Good)

IFTTT users have long waited for Twitter’s heroic return.

IFTTT And Twitter Reunite (And It Feels So Good)
[Photo: Flickr user JaredFrazer]

Two years ago, Twitter began cracking down on the use of its API to prevent third parties from uploading tweets to cloud-based services. The move had a major impact on automation service IFTTT, which was forced to remove the integration and eventually put in place a set of less robust Twitter tools for its users. On Thursday, the companies made their peace, with IFTTT returning the old functionality to its platform.


Short for If This Then That, the San Francisco startup connects more than 130 services and hardware products using recipes that follow its namesake. For example, a merchant who uses Square to process payments can create a recipe that sends transaction data to his or her Google Glass.

“Twitter is one of the top five channels in terms of recipes and recipe usage on IFTTT,” cofounder Linden Tibbets told Fast Company. With the return of this enhanced integration, IFTTT users will be able to create recipes using four Twitter triggers, one of which is completely new to the platform:

  • New tweet by a specific user: For example, when @FastCompany tweets a story, save it to Feedly for reading later.
  • New tweet from search: e.g., you could create a recipe to save submissions to Fast Company‘s #topdog bracket to a Google Drive spreadsheet.
  • New @mentions: You could use this to create a recipe that automatically sends a canned reply when someone on Twitter mentions your username.
  • New tweet by anyone in an area: This trigger, which is new to the platform, will let users see tweets from a given area, useful for monitoring special events and other happenings in the neighborhood.

When IFTTT closed its $30 million series B round in August, Tibbets said it was working to open up its channel development platform, which would give companies ownership of their own channels (and also leave them with the onus of any required maintenance).

As IFTTT rapidly adds new services to its ecosystem, this platform, which is currently in closed beta, will be key to freeing up development resources and helping the company grow. Exploring revenue paths, the startup also plans to offer and monetize premium accounts early next year with more robust functionality, such as the ability to manage multiple Twitter handles.

“We have other types of recipes in the pipeline, other ways to connect channels together that we’re not at liberty to say [yet],” Tibbets hinted.

About the author

Based in San Francisco, Alice Truong is Fast Company's West Coast correspondent. She previously reported in Chicago, Washington D.C., New York and most recently Hong Kong, where she (left her heart and) worked as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.