NYT IFTTT Recipes Let Users Automate Content Interaction


Since 2010 IFTTT (“if this, then that”) has been a productivity goldmine for individuals (especially us community managers). And thanks to a new channel partnership with the New York Times, it’s become clear that the tool will soon be just as beneficial to brands and publications of all shapes and sizes.

On August 12 IFTTT announced the addition of an official New York Times channel, calling it “a new way to consume and share your favorite NYTimes.com content.” The New York Times is the third news organization to claim its own IFTTT channel, after Buzz Feed and ESPN.

In the past several weeks the news organization has added a steady stream of IFTTT “recipes” that let users automate certain tasks. These so-called “targeted alerts” let users automate things like sending new articles to their favorite apps, sharing new pieces via social media, or adding upcoming events to their calendars.

The recipes make the reading and sharing experiences highly-customizable, so that readers can receive, read and share NYT content in their preferred way. Here are a few examples of IFTTT recipes published by the New York Times, broken down by what they accomplish for the user.

Content-focused IFTTT recipes:

These recipes focus on getting content to users via their preferred consumption application, for example Pocket, UP, Evernote or email.

  • Read NYTimes Critics’ Pick movie reviews in Pocket
  • Add popular NYT Health articles to your UP feed
  • Collect NYT Crosswords & Games in Evernote
  • Get the NYT Week In Review sent to your inbox
  • Receive an email when a NYT Technology article becomes popular

Sharing-focused IFTTT recipes:

These recipes automate the sharing process so that fans of your content can automatically share it with their network once it goes live. A win-win, right?

  • Share popular articles from the NYT Movies section with your Facebook friends
  • Tweet the latest International News posted on The New York Times

Events-focused IFTTT recipes:

If events are a central part of your content or business, IFTTT recipes are a great way to automatically reserve a spot on your audience’s calendar or general radar.

  • Place new NYT Theater events on  your Google Calendar
  • Get emails for new ‘Children’ & ‘Family’ events listed on NYT
  • Place NYT Critics’ Pick movie openings in your Google Calendar

Custom alerts for businesses

This function is great for business owners and PR people — kind of like a new-age, highly-customized Google alert.

  • If your Co. appears in the NYT then post it to Yammer for your colleagues to see
  • Search for your Co. name in new articles on the NYT, send a text to alert

Of course, IFTTT users can build their own custom recipes, but the New York Times’ channel serves as a convenient (not to mention inspirational) starting point.

While only three publications have early channel access, it looks like we’ll all have similar IFTTT privileges in the near future. In a phone interview with The Verge, IFTTT CEO Linden Tibbets noted  that what the company really wants to do is “open up IFTTT as a platform and let anyone make a channel.”

Just imagine the possibilities for your brand or publication.