App integration startup Zapier today announced its biggest product news in years. The biggest part of the news is a feature the startup calls Multi-Step Zaps. One Zap, to use the company’s term, is a way to do something in one application when a specific thing happens in a different application — so Multi-Step Zaps are strings of Zaps, sort of like the complex contraption on a Mouse Trap board.
In other words, now Zapier can do a bunch of things for you in one shot. For example, every time I post an article on VentureBeat using our WordPress content management system, Zapier could a) tweet out the article with an image, b) add a new Trello card about the article, c) save the image to my Dropbox account, d) put the article in my Pocket, and e) mention the Trello card in Slack. Until this point you could have set up each of these integrations one by one, but now you can configure this assembly line of tasks all at once.
To go along with Multi-Step Zaps, Zapier is also introducing two of its own apps. The Code app allows users to roll up their sleeves and write code to get exactly what you want out of a Zap. The Formatter app offers easy-to-use tools for adjusting data, such as a date, to meet your needs.
Taken together, these tools can help Zapier further elevate itself above being a service for carrying out simple rules-based tasks. It also helps Zapier distinguish itself from competitors such as IFTTT, Pipemonk, Workato, and Nubera’s CloudWork.
Multi-Step Zaps are available for free in a 14-day trial. After that, it will only be available if users sign up for a premium plan, which costs $20 or more each month.
Zapier started in 2011 and is based in Mountain View, California, with 36 employees. In November 2014 the startup disclosed that it had raised $1.3 million. Zapier now has integrations with more than 500 applications.
See the Zapier blog for more detail on Multi-Steps Zaps.