IFTTT stands for “if this, then that” and is a company that provides smart home users with free programs called applets that connect various devices that may otherwise not be compatible. I was curious about how IFTTT stayed in business without charging users for their applets, so I looked for information about how IFTTT makes money.
IFTTT is free for individual users because companies pay to use it. Many businesses pay to create services, connections, and applets through IFTTT to share them with users. It has three different plans for companies starting at around $200 a year with an annual contract.
In the remainder of this article, I’ll review the reasoning behind the costs behind IFTTT, and how you can use it for free, including creating your own applets with the service.
Why Is IFTTT Free?
IFTTT is free for individual users because they charge companies instead. IFTTT applets give companies more customers by connecting devices that were not compatible before in that way: IFTTT advertises that they offer companies access to 20 million users.
Individual users can use any applets on the IFTTT website at no expense. They can even create their own applets for free. However, individuals cannot add new devices or apps that are not already supported by IFTTT.
How IFTTT Makes Money
IFTTT has over 600 services. These services are used to make applets, and applets attract customers who want more integration and automation in their smart homes. For this reason, companies pay for their services to be compatible with IFTTT.
Services can be any of the following:
- Apps for your phone or tablet
- Smart home devices
- Voice assistants
- Email clients
IFTTT also uses money from investors as they are not currently making a profit. They have received over $60 million in funding.
IFTTT Annual Plans for Businesses
There are three different plans IFTTT offers companies:
The Developer plan is the cheapest option. It allows companies to add one service to IFTTT, and there can be an unlimited number of individuals using the service. IFTTT also provides information about API performance and forum support.
The Team plan also covers one service. However, it allows companies to publish an unlimited number of applets and connections. Those connections can be embedded in webpages and on social media. The Team plan gives companies access to the following:
- Software development kits
- Analytic information
- User feedback
- Chat support
The Business plan is for companies that want to integrate more than one service with IFTTT. This is the most expensive of the three programs. It provides integration for an unlimited amount of services.
All plans available for companies require a contract of at least one year.
Should We Expect to Pay in the Future?
There have been rumors of IFTTT adding paid subscriptions for users in the future. However, IFTTT has not confirmed any plans to charge individuals.
As mentioned before, because they are currently not making a profit, IFTTT relies on investments to operate. So, as long as IFTTT retains its relationship with investors, users shouldn’t expect to pay a subscription for their services anytime soon.
Using IFTTT’s Free Applets
However, since IFTTT is still free, many users happily take advantage of the applets and services they offer. IFTTT offers over 50 million applets to individual users for free; the exact number of applets fluctuates as services are added and removed. For example, in 2019, Google removed IFTTT compatibility with Gmail and all Nest devices.
Companies also add new services and applets as they upgrade and create new devices and programs. Click here to search the IFTTT services and applets that are currently available.
Creating Your Own Applets
You can create new IFTTT applets for free using the current IFTTT services, but you cannot add new services for free.
Follow the steps below to create your free applet:
- If you’re using a web browser, go to ifttt.com. Click on your profile picture in the top-right corner and select “Create.” If you’re using the IFTTT app, select “Get more” and click on “Make more Applets from scratch.”
- Select “this.”
- Search for a service to be the applet trigger. Keep in mind that not all services have triggers.
- Click “Connect.” You may need to log in to the service and allow necessary permissions.
- Create your trigger.
- Select “that.”
- Search for an action service. Keep in mind that not all services have actions.
- Choose an action and enter any details required.
- Select “Finish.”
Widgets are another feature that IFTTT provides to users for free. There are three types of IFTTT widgets:
- Button widget
- Note widget
- Camera widget
To add a widget to your device:
- Search for one of the widget services in the IFTTT app or at ifttt.com.
- Select the service and click “Connect.”
- Click on the applet you want to use.
- Select “Connect.”
- Sign into your other account when prompted.
- Follow the prompts to give IFTTT the necessary permissions and set up the widget.
While the future of IFTTT is unknown, they are still the most popular platform of their kind currently on the market, and many people are taking advantage of their services—at least while they’re still free.