Rapportive users have not been happy about the email plug-in’s performance and changes following its acquisition by LinkedIn. Instead of rich contact info and tools for following and friending email contacts on a variety of social networks, LinkedIn removed much of the functionality that drew users to it in the first place. In the wake of these changes, a number of competitors have stepped in to make a land grab for disenfranchised Rapportive users.
Like Rapportive, once installed, FullContact for Gmail users will be able to hover over or type in a new email address in order to see detailed contact information in the Gmail sidebar, including things like their name, location, title and company, email address, links to social networks, as well as their recent tweets, Facebook and Instagram posts.
However, FullContact’s version goes a step further than the old Rapportive did by offering company information, too.
By switching over to the Company tab, you’ll be able to see things like the company size, its founding date, address, phone number and more – all of which is powered by FullContact’s Company API.
After installing the extension for the first time, Gmail users are prompted to either sign up or sign into FullContact using their Google account information. After doing so, contact details will be available in the right sidebar in Gmail and in Gmail’s Contacts section.
Above the contact’s personal information are buttons that allow you to quickly add them to your Gmail contacts, create a calendar invite for a meeting with them, or even kick off a Google Hangout. These features arguably make the FullContact plug-in more useful than Rapportive – either before or after its acquisition.
For those who need to catalog their contacts in even more detail, FullContact’s plug-in additionally supports adding notes to each contact and adding your own tags. These notes and edits are synced along with your contact information to FullContact. On the company website, you can take further action on your Contact list, including managing tags and de-duplicating your contact list, or, with a premium plan, even turn business cards into contacts.
The plug-in can also be minimized when not in use, and offers a search function that lets you search across your own contacts and FullContact’s Person API for people who match your query.
You can friend or follow users on social networks, plus you can connect your Facebook and Twitter accounts in order to see a contact’s posts. After doing so, you can retweet and favorite tweets right from within the plug-in, and hover over shared photos from Facebook to see them enlarged.
The “Social” and “Company” tabs are only available when there’s information available, but even when there’s not, you can click an “Improve Data” button to submit corrections. (These might not appear immediately, however, FullContact notes.)
FullContact’s Gmail extension is a free download here on the Chrome Web Store.
(Correction: the plug-in does allow for friending/following, and post has been updated to reflect).