The average person online today probably owns a Facebook, follows several Tweets, watches videos on YouTube, and finds their new apartment on Craigslist. If any of that applies to you, chances are you've probably felt overwhelmed by the Internet before. Have you ever gotten the feeling that there's just too much to keep track of?
What if every time you update your Facebook status, someone could tweet the same thing for you? What if every time there's a forecast for rain, you can automatically be notified through email? Well, no more asking what if. Nine months ago, a new beta called If This Then That (ifttt) launched with the idea of helping us manage all our digital tools.
The simple cause and effect formula of ifttt aims to give users total oversight of their online tasks. By creating a variety of recipes on your account, you can use the Internet to make life easier online. Basically, ifttt takes all the different services out there and provides you with a selection of triggers and actions for you to build your own recipes. Together, these are called your tasks.
Say, you wanted to automatically save all your tagged photos on Facebook to your Dropbox account. The trigger here would be being tagged on Facebook in a picture. The action that comes out of this is the file being saved to your Dropbox storage. If you wanted to modify or stop these services, switching the tasks on and off is also easy to manage.
Upon sign-up, users can dive straight into creating their own tasks or browse through recipes that others are sharing. The site has already received quite the response with testers creating over 100,000 tasks. The beta got such positive feedback that the developing team has announced they will not be limiting how many tasks a user can enable.
The most interesting element to this service may be that it drives creativity. With so many different combinations possible, users can really put themselves to create any task they can imagine. To date, there hasn't been this kind of service helping us piece together our digital lives. Will this be where ifttt succeeds?