IFTTT.com, pronounced like ‘lift’ without the L, stands for If This Then That. It provides a light introduction to the principles of computer programming which is handy for students with little or no experience in this area. In this example we create a simple ‘recipe’ which could be very useful in a newsroom.
IFTTT allows access to the APIs from a huge range of websites including YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.
An API stands for Application Programming Interface. Many social media sites actively encourage third party software developers to build new applications that link to their sites. Much of Facebook’s early success was down to the fact it encouraged developers to create software and apps that improved the site’s functionality.
Here are some things that you can make IFTTT do for you using APIs:
- Photos can be shared from sites like Flickr to social network sites like Facebook
- Live comments made on Twitter can also appear on a user’s Facebook profile.
- Video content from YouTube can be embedded in a page of a news
A recipe for success
Here we will set up a ‘recipe’ or a sequence of events using IFTTT so we can be alerted by email when the Surrey town of ‘Guildford’ is mentioned in any Twitter posts.
Choose a ‘trigger’ channel:
Channels are places that data can come from or go to. IFTTT has many channels including all the main social media sites.
Choose a Trigger:
Here we need to select ‘New Tweet From Search’.
Complete Trigger Fields:
e.g. New tweet from search. Search for: Guildford.
Choose an action channel
So what do we want it to do when ‘Guildford’ is mentioned? Here we will ask IFTTT to email us or we could ask it to send us an SMS message.
Complete Action Field
What information do we want sent in the email? It should include the text of the Tweet and username of the sender.