An Empirical Characterization of IFTTT: Ecosystem, Usage, and Performance

ACM Internet Measurement Conference 2017


IFTTT is a popular trigger-action programming platform whose applets can automate more than 400 services of IoT devices and web applications. We conduct an empirical study of IFTTT using a combined approach of analyzing data collected for 6 months and performing controlled experiments using a custom testbed. We profile the interactions among different entities, measure how applets are used by end users, and test the performance of applet execution. Overall we observe the fast growth of the IFTTT ecosystem and its increasing usage for automating IoT-related tasks, which correspond to 52% of all services and 16% of the applet usage. We also observe several performance inefficiencies and identify their causes.

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