IFTTT Rolls Out Powerful New Twitter Triggers For Searches, Mentions, Location Tracking And More

Just over a year ago, “internet glue” service IFTTT, which lets you define triggers to automate actions associated with your online accounts and services, rolled out a new set of Twitter triggers that complied with Twitter’s new rules for developers. Today, the company is expanding on that earlier lineup with several other new triggers, including those that let you kick off actions when someone mentions you, when a specific user tweets, when a user tweets in a specific area, and other search-based criteria.

As you may recall, IFTTT in 2012 had to shut down its Twitter triggers to comply with Twitter API policy changes for third-party developers which involved how Twitter’s data could be accessed and how tweets can be displayed. At the time, the changes were pretty upsetting to a number of IFTTT power users who had once been able to do cool things like saving archives of tweets to Dropbox, or even follow the Olympics via Twitter tweets that turned into SMS messages, emails, or Instapaper articles, for example.

IFTTT voluntarily shut down its Twitter API access until it could build Twitter triggers that were compliant with the new policies. These rolled out last year, and included “new tweet by you” triggers, plus “new tweet by you with hashtag,” “new link by you” and “new favorite by you.” On the flip side, you could also prompt Twitter actions based on triggers from other services to post tweets or tweet images, add users to lists and more.

But today’s rollout brings additional recipes which let you query deeper into Twitter’s stream, instead of only focusing on your own actions. These new triggers are far more useful, too. They can serve as a valuable research tool, allowing to you to do things like track a hashtag or keyword and turn that into a spreadsheet of tweets, or input that info into Slack. You can also configure Twitter (via IFTTT) to alert you to things going on nearby, or set up a digest of tweets, IFTTT suggests.

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Though over the years, Twitter slowly choked off access to third-party developers who were building features or clients that were competitive with Twitter’s platform, Twitter recently has been changing its tact – perhaps realizing at last that a healthy and engaged developer ecosystem can be a boon to its business, not a drawback.

The company just last month announced Flight, an annual developer conference focused on mobile which will soon take place in San Francisco on October 22 – something that could help to reposition the company from one that’s been known to be somewhat hostile to its developer community in the past, to one that’s now trying to work with outsiders to the benefit of all.

That could also be the case here with IFTTT, which says it worked with the team at Twitter on the new triggers and recipes. (We reached out to IFTTT for more info on that, and will update if the company responds. Update: IFTTT says there were no financial terms involved with the deal, and that it has been collaborating with Twitter for some time now.)