IFTTT vs Zapier: Fight!

Within the ecosystem NoCode, automation is often one of the most popular topics discussed and this is quite normal.

Indeed, in our daily life, personal and professional, when we step back and think about it, the number of manual and repetitive tasks we perform is immense!

If a tool can automate some of these tasks, you will immediately feel more productive, and perhaps even more fulfilled! 

In terms of automation, many tools are available: simple ones, more complex ones, powerful ones...

Among these, IFTTT is the forerunner, being one of the first services to offer easy-to-implement automations and integrations for everyone.

Since then, Zapier seems to have taken the concept even further by offering even more advanced possibilities.

Between the two, is one better than the other? What are their respective advantages and limitations? We will show you this!

IFTTT: the ancestor of automation NoCode

Launched at the end of 2010, IFTTT is rapidly gaining popularity within the tech ecosystem but also with the general public. Indeed, the latter allows to create automations from the simplest to the most elaborate thanks to a visual interface that would make Ikea designers swoon! 

Moreover, the logic of nesting third-party services such as Google Calendar, Twitter, Instagram and others seems to come straight out of the brain of the best Lego architects!

I remember having the pleasure of setting up an automation that allowed me to automatically save to the Pinboard service all the tweets I "liked"! 

While the iPhone and its applications are booming, to be able to easily create a free personalized alert and receive it on your smartphone seemed magical!

Zapier, the mature little cousin

Less than 2 years after the creation of IFTTT, Zapier launches on the same market with the leitmotiv to be the "translator between web APIs".

Taking the desire to make its users more productive, Zapier pushes the automation logic beyond what IFTTT offers, notably by offering its users to create "Zaps" (the name of the automations you create) that can contain up to 100 subsequent actions in a single automation. But also, and most importantly, by leveraging the power of webhooks and web APIs, compatible services for the most seasoned users.

However, if you want to start creating your own automations, you may be faced with this difficult choice! IFTTT or Zapier?

We will try to enlighten you in your choice by showing the possibilities and limits of one versus the other.

IFTTT, a powerful but limited simplicity.

But by the way, what does IFTTT mean? It's an acronym for "If This Then That", and in a loose translation, we would say "If this, then that".

To better understand and as often an example is worth a thousand words, let's imagine that you are a fervent user of Instagram: you have carefully built a photographic profile on this social network and this one traces important moments of your life (vacations, encounters)... Even if you like this service, you don't want to entrust your memories only to it and want to keep a backup of your photos.

With IFTTT, you can create a custom automation, which every time you add a photo to your Instagram account will also upload it to your favorite storage space such as Dropbox.

To understand IFTTT in more detail, it is necessary to detail the concepts that are at the heart of this service:

  • Services are the foundation on which your automation will be based, they describe the websites or applications on which you will rely, such as Dailymotion, Facebook or even EDF! In total, there are more than 700 services available.

Each service will then provide you with a set of triggers and actions.

  • The triggers represent the element that will trigger the action. For example, using the EDF service: "Change your Netatmo heating schedule when you switch to Tempo Red Day".
  • The actions correspond to the result of the trigger.

In order to make it easier to get started, IFTTT offers "Applets", which are ready-made recipes allowing you to use preconceived automations for which you will simply have to use your authentication credentials for the concerned services.

And if the "Applets" are not enough for you, IFTTT offers a documentation allowing you to exploit the webhooks of some third party services.

Zapier, the successor boosted with steroids!

If IFTTT wanted to democratize automation for everyone, Zapier is resolutely focused on more technical and business users.

Initially, setting up a Zap - the small name for Zapier automations - starts the same way as IFTTT: you choose a starting point such as an application or a service and you determine the trigger that will generate the concomitant actions.

For example, if your company gets a new lead on Facebook via your ad campaign you can have your entire team notified within Slack, all within one automation.

As illustrated in our example, but also on Zapier's website, the company is geared more towards an Ops and Marketing audience than a general public.

Zapier's strength lies in its design and ergonomics, which makes it easy to use.

Beyond that, Zapier has a real power because, for example, a Zap can contain up to 100 actions and thus automate a whole process!

Zapier has integrations with over 5,000 applications.

Even more advanced: you will be able to apply logic to your own Zaps, but also play with conditions, program them, and finally format the data in order to process them as efficiently as possible.

If you still can't find what you're looking for in the library, you can dive into the Zapier platform to create your own API and modify your Zaps with webhooks if you need to.


If IFTTT had opened the way of automation to the general public, we have to admit that it is very difficult to find an appeal to the latter. Indeed, the big players such as Apple with Siri, or Amazon with Alexa, have made their automations accessible to the simple power of voice!

On the other hand, Zapier has taken the promise of productivity gains through automation to a much higher level and has hit the nail on the head with an Ops and marketing oriented target!