If This Then That (IFTTT) is a really powerful service that could best be described as “the ultimate Web 2.0 mashup creation tool.” It lets you bridge Web 2.0 services together in really unique and powerful ways. You create “recipes” that follow the simple syntax “If this then that” (hence the name). The this (which IFTTT calls a “trigger”) consists of an action that you (or someone else) takes on one service (you post a new picture using Instagram; someone tags you in a photo on Facebook; someone sends you an email). When the trigger fires, that is when the that part of an IFTTT recipe comes in to play (which IFTTT calls “actions”). An “action” is something that IFTTT can do on your behalf using a variety of different services (create a note in Evernote; post a link to Twitter; SMS me). Their “about” page does a much better job than I of explaining what IFTTT’s all about, and you can check out the directory of public recipes to see the powerful and creative ways others are taking advantage of IFTTT.
Unfortunately, some recent API and policy changes Twitter has started putting into play has in effect neutered IFTTT’s capabilities as far as Twitter is concerned. While IFTTT still supports Twitter “actions” (so, e.g. you can post Tweets using IFTTT), they have removed all Twitter “triggers.”
Fortunately, with all the Web 2.0 services out there on the Internets, and using some of these services, I have found a way to accomplish the two things I was using IFTTT for, insofar as Twitter is concerned.