Rapportive Adds Social Context to Gmail

Initially I was attracted to Rapportive for Gmail for the very simple fact that it replaces the ads on the side. Over time I’ve really grown to appreciate the simple, useful information about my contacts, links to social media accounts, and profile photo. I’ve found great value in Rapportive becaues it uncovers new ways for me to connect with both old and new contacts.

Rapportive is Easy to Install and Easy to Use

rapportive extension for gmailRapportive is available as a Chrome extension, a Firefox plugin, or for Safari and Mailplane. I love websites and services that keep things so ridiculously simple and quick. Literally 5 steps or less to install and activate. In fact, I think you should go and install Rapportive right now and then come back and finish this post if you really want to. But hey, you’re 20% through, and I’ve already given you the gist of what Rapportive does. What makes Rapportive even more interesting is its lack of anything to use beyond installing it. There are no complicated settings or overwhelming options. You see the contacts’ connections, picture, short bio, and you can store some notes, but that’s it.

Rapportive Helps You Grow Your Network

While some wait with bated breathe for Google to release their own CRM, Rapportive is a nice social tool to use in the meantime. Like the Rapportive website says, “Get to know your contacts, grow your network, and establish rapport.” Rapportive makes Gmail more useful, and if you’re in sales, recruitment, support or various other functions where rapport is important, you’ll find this especially amazing. No more hunting down and searching your contacts on various social networks, Rapportive does that for you.

More recently, Rapportive released a tighter integration with LinkedIn, so connecting to a contact is only 2 clicks away. And they also integrate nicely with Tungle.me Other integrations such as Facebook are in beta, and as a new company I’m sure they’ve got some other features planning for 2011. It seems the company’s approach for the product is headed in the right direction, and since it’s been at least 6 months since Rapportive first hit the scene, I feel comfortable recommending it on GWA.

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