IFTTT Twitter channel is one of the most powerful channels on the IFTTT (if-this-then-that) service. Facebook levies a penalty on a third-party posts, leaving the Twitter channel arguably the most powerful mainstream social channel available through IFTTT. Unfortunately, IFTTT CEO Linden Tibbets announced in an email yesterday that the IFTTT Twitter channel will be diminished on September 27th.
What features will diminish on the IFTTT Twitter channel?
Any recipe on IFTTT that uses a “Twitter trigger” (the “if” in IFTTT) will be discontinued. People that use the IFTTT Twitter channel to back-up their tweets, receive emails or the myriad other things IFTTT might do with a tweet will lose those capabilities.
The IFTTT Twitter channel is probably a bellwether for other apps that use the Twitter API to view tweets. A rule of thumb would be if you can see a tweet in a third-party app, you probably won’t be able to see it much longer. And IFTTT’s situation is probably an example of the situation facing many third-party providers: the benevolent Twitter allows them 100,000 tokens or double the amount that they currently have (whichever is greater), but then writes their API terms to exclude off-site content consumption. Bad Twitter.
What features remain on the IFTTT Twitter channel?
The good news is that recipes using Twitter “actions” are still allowed (the “then” in IFTTT), and that’s a huge automation resource. Many people are using IFTTT as a de facto autoresponder, and I’m not sure how effective that is. But to be able to tweet, Buffer a Tweet and do whatever else you want to with generated content is really powerful.
The worst consequence I could foresee with Twitter’s API ramp-down was diminishment of Buffer or IFTTT’s capabilities to Tweet. And it looks like they both are going to come out of this with the capability to Tweet. Diminishments aside, that’s a very good outcome.
Are you using IFTTT?
If you’re not familiar with IFTTT, I want to share my two cents about why this is such an extraordinary tool.
IFTTT gives you the capability to connect fragmented social networks into something cohesive. For instance, you can add a hashtag to Yammer to tag a note for mass-distribution through Twitter. You can lessen the learning curve of social networks by sending updates to an email account (though not Twitter anymore)…. and send emails to update social networks. It is an essential tool not only for community managers but for anyone using any software greater to or equal to email.
I use the IFTTT Twitter channel to autoshare blog posts from RSS feeds. You get 1000 tweets a day, so for me it is an easy way to show appreciation for people’s content. I even have a public recipe for leaderswest:
(If the spirit moves you to use that recipe and promote the site, don’t forget to drop me a note so that I can reciprocate)
I also use the email channel to schedule recurring emails, I also share some stuff on Facebook, I share all of my posts on app.net, LinkedIn, on my personal Facebook and Facebook page. Without any additional action after setting these up.
The power of IFTTT is extraordinary, limited only to your imagination and an if-then statement.
Is this it?
It’s possible that Twitter could further restrict IFTTT or other tools, but it seems that they decided that cutting off publishing is unnecessary if all consumption has to happen within the organic Twitter network. With Fox News reporting that Twitter is considering an IPO in a year, the pressure is on to show advertising effectiveness or suffer the fate of Facebook.
In any case, the lesson of the IFTTT Twitter channel being diminished is that it could have been worse. I’m disappointed to see it that way.