If This Then That (Ifttt) has been quietly building a tool to help you automatically share information from one web service into another web service.
Buffer, meanwhile, has been quietly building a tool to help you schedule sharing from any web service, so people who read what you share get a pleasantly staggered stream of information rather than one big blast.
Today, the two relatively under-the-radar startups are partnering to make it easy to first automatically share and schedule your shared information from one service to others. It’s clever (although a little tricky to set up at first) and something that more and more people are going to want to use to share information the right way for their friends and followers.
Here’s a personal example, in case this all sounds too abstract. Let’s say I want to automatically share all TechCrunch posts about Facebook to my Facebook-fascinated fans on my Facebook page over the course of the day.
First, I create a new task in Ifttt, add the RSS URL for the TechCrunch-Facebook feed to Ifttt (“This,” also known as the trigger within the interface).
Then, I choose Buffer as the service to share to (“That,” or the action that the trigger will cause), and I add my Facebook Page as the sharing destination within Buffer. Note: Ifttt is especially useful already in this csae because Facebook recently got rid of its RSS importing feature for Notes in favor of leaving that to third parties.
Then, suppose TechCrunch runs five posts about Facebook in a row tomorrow morning but nothing for the rest of the day. With Buffer, I can schedule the flow of posts out over the next day or two for a more pleasant reading experience for fans. Buffer also comes with an analytics feature so I can see how effective my scheduling is.
Now take this idea and expand it to the many popular web services already available on Ifttt. You can see how it wouldn’t just be good for a tech blogger whose trying to promote himself, but a small business owner who wants to remind Facebook fans about a blog post on a new deal, or a marketer who wants to share the latest set of news about their company across Facebook and Twitter. And the list goes on — here are some other ideas for how you might want to use these two services, from Buffer cofounder Leonhard Widrich:
- Star something in Google Reader and it will be added to your Buffer to be posted at an optimal time.
- Add any new Instagram photo and it will automatically be Buffered and Tweeted at optimal time for you.
- Type an update into Google Talk and it will be Buffered for you.
- Write a text message to ifttt and create a Buffered Tweet with it.
- Save something to Delicious and at the same time Buffer it as a Tweet.
As users and businesses get more sophisticated with how to communicate online, more services like these are going to rise up to make sharing simpler and smarter.
Of course these companies are still small, but they are making some interesting progress. Ifttt has been, from what we’ve heard, gaining a lot of attention within tech circles because it so easily solves cross-service syndication — a growing problem as diverse web services have gained traction in recent years. And, Widrich says that Buffer has already hit a $150,000 run-rate off of a total userbase of 70,000 people, via premium services that offer multiple users and more times for scheduling. That means that while his company has raised some seed funding, they’re also able to support their ongoing growth.