Rapportive officially bought by LinkedIn

Contacts startup Rapportive has officially been acquired by LinkedIn, the company announced on its blog Wednesday. The deal follows weeks of speculation after rumors surfaced earlier this month. Rapportive will continue to support its popular Gmail plugin, but its acquisition could lead to greater integration with LinkedIn.

Xobni launches Smartr contact management for Gmail and Android

San Francisco-based start up Xobni has been trying to improve the Outlook and Blackberry email experience for a while now, but today they’re launching their latest contact management platform and related products for Gmail and Android under the brand name Smartr.

5 Alternatives to Social CRM Service Etacts

Yesterday, Om reported that Etacts is to be shut down. While that’s bad news for users of the social CRM service, fortunately there are plenty of alternatives available. Here is a selection of the more useful social CRM tools that have been reviewed on WWD:

Social CRM Startup Etacts Shutting Down

ETacts, one of the many social CRM companies, is shutting down, according to an email sent out to its users. ETacts competes with the likes of Rapportive and Gist. The company, which was incubated by YCombinator had raised $650,000 from angel investors earlier this year.

4 Counterintuitive Stories From Rapportive’s Seed Funding

Rapportive this week announced $1 million in funding from a long list of angel and early stage investors including Dave McClure, Paul Buchheit and Jason Calacanis. The startup makes a Gmail plug-in that gives dynamic social web profile data about the people with whom you’re emailing.

Social CRM on the Cheap

Mac (s aapl) users are missing out on cheap (read: free), social customer relationship management. Windows users have xobni, a simple tool that integrates with Outlook, and Microsoft (s msft) will also be releasing a solution in Office 2010 called Outlook Social Connector. But what if you have a Mac? Xobni doesn’t support Entourage or Mail.app, and who knows when Entourage will receive features its cousin on Windows has.

Now there’s a solution for the Mac: Rapportive. It takes over the advertisements area in Gmail, and provides basic information about your email correspondents: occupation, Twitter/Flickr/LinkedIn links, age, location and custom notes. Yes, it supports Google (s goog) Apps accounts, and the preview version of Mailplane now has an option to view Rapportive data. The experience definitely feels like a beta, with occasional inaccurate or missing information, but it’s great having so much additional context inside my email. Read More about Social CRM on the Cheap

Rapportive Makes Gmail More Useful

Rapportive is a free browser plugin (available as both a Firefox add-on and as a Chrome extension) for that replaces the adverts in Gmail’s sidebar with useful information about your contacts: a photo, bio and links to social media accounts (Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, etc).