Angstro, a 2008 TechCrunch50 startup, launched with a product that socialized the content on the web by tapping into your social graph. At the Real-Time CrunchUp today the startup is launching Knx.to, a real-time search engine capability and API that looks up most recent social information about any of your friends, from their LinkedIn profile to their Flickr account to their Facebook profile.
In order to understand Knx.to’s virtue, it’s best to see the technology implemented in an application. Ribbit Mobile, a Google Voice competitor and cloud-based VoIP telephony service, recently launched with the capability of integrating any calls to a contact with your social networks, which was powered by Knx.to.
To enable the application, you sign into your Twitter, Gmail, Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr accounts via oAuth, Facebook Connect and more. When a friend calls you (or you call a friend), the technology will automatically scan all of your social networks, identify if the contact is a friend, and will pull all the most recent photos, Tweets, status updates, and more into its search pane. The idea is to give a social context to all of your contacts, which is definitely useful information for both professional and personal contacts.
Knx.to’s is officially launching its API to allow a variety of applications to tap into this new way for adding additional social information to contacts. It’s a innovative idea and something that many applications, whether it be email or VoiP/phone based technologies.
The startup also has a standalone consumer facing search engine that lets users easily tap into the most recent information about a friend or contact from one platform. After logging into your accounts via oAuth, Facebook Connect and more, you simply type in a friend’s name and the real-time results of your friends’ latest acitivity on Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, LinkedIn, and Yahoo Mail will show up. Additional social media sites will be added in the future.
One issues with tapping into social networks for this information is security. But Knx.to’s founder, Rohit Khare, says that all of the results and information are stored in your browser, and don’t break any social network’s terms of agreements. Similar in some ways to email plug-in Xobni, Knx.to adds another layer to your contact list which in the age of social media, is very useful.