App-Automation: The IFTTT-service provides automatic rules for many use-cases

With increasing Smartphone-penetration, the upcoming "Connected Home" and othe connected devices, users are ever more interested in connecting all these different devices, cloud services and websites via intelligent rules.
Some examples are "if it will rain tomorrow afternoon, pls. send me an SMS so I do not forget to bring my umbrella" or "pls. switch on the lights when I return home".
 
What is IFTTT?
IFTTT (short form of "if this then that") is a webservice that connects the Internet, Mobile Devices and Hardware, all based on rules.

 

Mit der wachsenden Smartphone-Durchdringung, dem aufkommenden vernetzten Haus und weiteren “Connected Devices” besteht mehr und mehr der Nutzerwunsch, die verschiedenen Geräte, Cloud-Services und Websites intelligent miteinander zu vernetzen. Hierbei sind meist Regeln im Spiel, wie zum Beispiel: “Wenn es morgen Nachmittag regnen wird, sende mir bitte morgens eine SMS, damit ich den Schirm nicht vergesse” oder auch “Bitte schalte das Licht ein, wenn ich nach Hause komme”. - See more at: http://www.mobile-zeitgeist.com/2014/06/03/automatisierung-mit-ifttt-gibt-es-regeln-fuer-fast-alle-nutzungsszenarien/#sthash.FVkrAQxk.dpuf
Mit der wachsenden Smartphone-Durchdringung, dem aufkommenden vernetzten Haus und weiteren “Connected Devices” besteht mehr und mehr der Nutzerwunsch, die verschiedenen Geräte, Cloud-Services und Websites intelligent miteinander zu vernetzen. Hierbei sind meist Regeln im Spiel, wie zum Beispiel: “Wenn es morgen Nachmittag regnen wird, sende mir bitte morgens eine SMS, damit ich den Schirm nicht vergesse” oder auch “Bitte schalte das Licht ein, wenn ich nach Hause komme”. - See more at: http://www.mobile-zeitgeist.com/2014/06/03/automatisierung-mit-ifttt-gibt-es-regeln-fuer-fast-alle-nutzungsszenarien/#sthash.FVkrAQxk.dpuf
Source: IFTTT
Source: IFTTT

 

This approach allows to automate scenarios and processes and works as follows: IFTTT provides inputs and outputs ("Channels") which can be connected via "Rules" (Recipes). The inputs can be derived from different sources which are provided by IFTTT, e.g. weather, connected devices like Fitbit or Smartphone applications like the address-book or the camera-roll. Outputs are also provided by IFTTT as well and span things like google drive, eMail, or connected home applications like WeMo Switches or the Smarthings devices or connected lighting like Philips Hue.
Source: IFTTT
Source: IFTTT

 

IFTTT has created a number of recipes already, but via the community, numerous additional rules have been added.
 
Some interesting and handy rules for daily use are
  • "Send me an eMail each time a new hardware-project is launced on Kickstarter" -> never miss out on the latest gadgets
  • "Save all my Foursquare Check-ins to a spreadsheet in google drive" -> built your own personalized restaurant-guide
  • "Write all my Tweets to google drive" -> a bookmarking service across all devices which allows easy analysis of Tweets
IFTTT provides Apps for iOS and Android which allow to change the rules also on mobile and provide a feed which shows the "firing" of recipes.  The Android-App, although just launched in April 2014, already attracted 100-500.000 downloads and 21.000 ratings.  
 
In a nutshell: 
IFTTT is a service that allows users to connect various API-based services. It bridges pure webservices like weather, eMail etc. with the Internet of Things and smartphones.

IFTTTs Business Model (today/tomorrow)

 

 
IFTTT has so far raised 8,5 million dollars in Venture Capital funding (amongst others from Andreesen Horowitz), but is most likely not generating revenues per today.
 
In the future, IFTTT could be generating revenues from the following sources:
 
1. B2C-revenues
 
IFTTT could offer premium services on a subscription or pay-per-use base. Examples: conversion of eMails to SMS or a monthly fee to export the triggered recipes.
 
2. B2B-revenues
 
IFTTT could charge the connected channels a monthly fee for being connected to the platform or a transaction-fee per fired rule.
 
3. Revenues from advertising or affiliates
IFTTT set up its own URL-shortener similar to bit.ly. For all connected services or hardware which works with an affiliate network, IFTTT could generate affiliate-commissions when customers buy e.g. a Connected Philips Hue lamp from amazon.com.

Due to IFTTT's growing reach across web, eMail, Mobile Apps and push notifications, IFTTT could also generate classic online advertising revenues.
 
4. Revenues from "Big Data"
 
IFTTT is amassing enormous amounts of data due to the plethora of connected services and the firing of recipes. Via monitoring and analysis, IFTTT could for example tell Google that their customers are using Dropbox far more intense than they do use Google Drive. Google could then fire a special offer to IFTTT's customers. Also IFTTT could analyze, how many of its users are owning a Philips Hue bulb and a WeMo Switch and use this information to cross-sell these along its customer base.
 
The most attractive revenue-options can be found in points 3 and 4, since the willingness to pay of B2B-customers and B2C-users is most likely more limited.
 
Conclusion
 
It will be very interesting to monitor how IFTTT is further evolving in terms of new channels (Connected Home, Quantified Self, Car, TV) und regarding business models and revenue streams.

 

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