What Is IFTTT?

Cause and effect never looked so good.

Sometimes in a review, we say a product or service is IFTTT compatible. If that makes you think, “Okay, but what is IFTTT, anyway?” then this piece is for you.

IFTTT definition

IFTTT (pronounced Ift, not I-F-T-T-T like some of us inevitably say in our heads) stands for IF This, Then That. Sound familiar? That’s the basic recipe for cause and effect. IFTTT is a (mostly) free tech service that takes this principle and makes it more concrete.

How IFTTT works

To use IFTTT, you first download the app. Then you create mini programs called applets that create cause-and-effect chains.

If someone else previously created an applet that performs the action you want, you can use that applet instead of making a new one.

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We know “applet” sounds like a tiny Mac, but we think it means something along the lines of “mini application.” Sort of like an app within an app.

The phrase “IFTTT applet” is sometimes used interchangeably with “IFTTT recipe.”

If you want to create more than three applets, you have to pay $9.99 a month. You can use other people’s applets without paying, though.

Things you can do with IFTTT

You can do almost anything with IFTTT.

Applets create chains between platforms, software, and physical smart home devices. That means you can do almost anything with IFTTT (as long as the platforms, software, and products are compatible with the service).

For instance, you could potentially create applets that do any of the following:

  • Turn off smart sprinklers if your weather app says it’s raining
  • Unlock the door, turn on the lights, and crank up the smart thermostat when you arrive home
  • Play the Spider-Man theme song through your Sonos speaker whenever Tom Holland tweets something new

Almost anything works as the trigger for the IF part of the IFTTT applet. For example, the chain can be set off by any of the following:

  • A specific time of day
  • A specific time of weather
  • An event on a social media platform
  • Use of a smart product
  • Geofencing when you go to a certain place


IF This, Then That is a mostly free service that helps you set up event chains. It doesn’t work with everything, but it’s incredibly convenient for making your smart home smarter.


We’re sure you still have questions, so here’s some extra info about IFTTT.

How do I set up IFTTT?

Download the IFTTT app, then create an account. (It’s free.) As we mentioned earlier, you’ll both have access to existing applets and be able to create your own.

The mobile app is available for both iPhone and Android devices.

When you make a custom applet, it can use one simple conditional statement, or it can be more complicated with multiple actions. It’s all up to you.

What’s compatible with IFTTT?

A lot of things are compatible with IFTTT. Notably, you can connect IFTTT with the following:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Reddit
  • Dropbox
  • Evernote
  • Google Sheets
  • Nest
  • Abode
  • Ring
  • Fitbit
  • Raspberry Pi
  • Samsung SmartThings
  • Amazon Echo/Alexa
  • Google Home/Google Assistant
  • Sonos
  • Philips Hue
  • LIFX

Is IFTTT compatible with Z-Wave? Is IFTTT compatible with Zigbee?

It depends on the device. Some devices that use Z-Wave or Zigbee protocols will also work with IFTTT.

What’s the IoT?

People often mention IFTTT in the context of the Internet of Things, or IoT. IoT refers to networks of smart devices like the ones IFTTT can control.

How does IFTTT compare to Thread?

Thread is still a bit of a mystery to us! IFTTT is a lot more accessible than Thread, which doesn’t seem to have officially launched to the public.