Tuesday, March 29, 2016

IFTTT Drops Pinboard and App.net, Blames Them

Maciej Ceglowski:

It’s entirely IFTTT’s decision to drop support for Pinboard (along with a bunch of other sites). They are the ones who are going to flip the switch on working code on April 4, and they could just as easily flip the switch back on (or even write an IFTTT recipe that does it for them). Weigh their claims about Pinboard being a beloved service accordingly.

For users left stranded, I recommend taking a look at Zapier or Botize, which offer a similar service, or at one of the dozens of new sites that will spring up next week to capture the market that IFTTT is foolishly abandoning.

Gabe Weatherhead:

I’m probably done with IFTTT. I’ve waited for a business model and instead I get crazy service integrations I’ve never heard of.


I somewhat expected IFTTT would go that route. The reason here is that they got so much investment money, that their growth plan has to involve bigger goals. In the end they need to recoup all of that money, because the investors don’t just spend money because they are nice people. The bigger goal probably means that they need to dominate the market in one way or another, and they think that they have to do this kind of thing in order to do so. IFTTT’s business has always been “blurry” to me. Blurry because it’s hard to understand what their ultimate goal is. It’s way too good to be free forever.

To me, the key point is that IFTTT doesn’t care about preserving the workflows that their users have already created. Instead, the customers are pawns to help them bully the services.

Update (2016-03-30): Nick Heer:

Cegłowski in a tweet from about a year and a half ago:

Right now the IFTTT business model is to charge one user $30M, rather than lots of users $2. The challenge will be with recurring payments

I suspect this is not unrelated.

Update (2016-03-31): I received an e-mail from IFTTT:

We’ve made mistakes over the past few days both in communication and judgment. I’d like to apologize for those mistakes and attempt to explain our intentions. I also pledge to do everything we can to keep Pinboard on IFTTT.


We made a mistake in asking Pinboard to migrate without fully explaining the benefits of our developer platform. It’s our responsibility to prove that value before asking Pinboard to take ownership of their Channel.


I also want to address Pinboard’s concerns with our Developer Terms of Service. These terms were specific to our platform while in private beta and were intended to give us the flexibility to evolve our platform in close partnership with early developers. We’ve always planned to update and clarify those terms ahead of opening our platform and we are doing so now. We are specifically changing or removing areas around competing with IFTTT, patents, compatibility and content ownership. The language around content ownership is especially confusing, so I’d like to be very clear on this: as a user of IFTTT you own your content.

Update (2016-05-03): See also: Microsoft Flow.

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