If you’re reading this, then I’m sure that you are at least familiar with Rapportive. Used as a tool for learning about and connecting with people through various social media, Rapportive is invaluable for people involved with or within the startup community, where new and more connections can lead to great successes. The problem with it, however, is its limited scope. It only operates within Gmail, which means that one’s entire knowledge base is constrained to those with whom we contact through email. But the web encompasses more than just email (certainly more than solely Gmail, which is a further limitation), and the opportunity to learn about prospective connections exists anywhere from Google search results to tweets on Twitter. Well, today, Los Angeles-based Connect6° has launched PeopleDiscovery, a free browser extension that provides comprehensive online discovery and connection functions similar to Rapportive, but can be used throughout the Web instead of sitting in Gmail.
“With the power of Big Data…we’ve enabled individuals and business professionals to get unprecedented access to people as they browse the Web,” said CEO Vik Kashyap. “Rather than using traditional closed mechanisms, you can find out about prospective connections or recruit candidates by just hovering over someone’s name.”
Connect6° has already aggregated more than 550 million social and technical public profiles from across the web, creating one of the largest searchable online databases for this data. Through PeopleDiscovery, you can easily find information on potential clients or job candidates, research new markets, and connect with literally anyone you stumble into across the web. Indeed one of the reasons why Rapportive has been so popular (and why it was acquired for $15 million by LinkedIn) is due to the value of such web connections. Rapportive, though, has failed to move beyond its initial features. With the launch of Connect6°’s PeopleDiscovery, Rapportive officially becomes a symbol of antiquity – a pioneer in a space where it has failed to innovate.
If you need additional convincing, though, here are the three reasons why you should start using PeopleDiscovery instead of Rapportive:
Connect6° goes beyond Gmail, which means that it goes beyond all the people you’re contacting already. Every week, each of us run into literally hundreds of people across the web – whether that’s through someone commenting on a friend’s Facebook status, social media mentions from brand advocates (and critics) on Hootsuite, or even through mere Google searching. With PeopleDiscovery, you gain access to information typically available through Rapportive, but now you’re provided with this information as you’re browsing the web rather than merely the contents of your Gmail inbox.
As you browse the web with PeopleDiscovery, a tiny 6° identifier will appear next to a person’s name. By simply hovering over this tiny beacon, you’re provided with the person’s profile, which includes a picture, links to other social and technical profiles on the web, where they’re located, and what they do. From Google search results and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to Gmail and productivity tools like HootSuite and even Salesforce, Connect6°’s PeopleDiscovery is what Rapportive should’ve been.
What’s unique about PeopleDiscovery is that it offers a function that will provide them with the email address and phone number of people they discover while browsing the web. Similar to LinkedIn’s InMail function which operates on credits, users are provided with free contact credits each month that they can use to request this information directly through that person’s Connect6° profile. However, unlike InMail (which fails on the assumption that every user checks their LinkedIn account regularly), users are guaranteed higher responses rates since they’re provided with more direct means of contact.
We all know, however, that merely cold-contacting someone doesn’t always produce the best results. Usually, it’s better when we can reference a connection during initial contact. When you link your Facebook and LinkedIn connections to the platform, PeopleDiscovery can show you all of the common connections you have with whomever your attempting to contact.
After trying it out for myself, I will admit that one of the cons I’ve encountered is that PeopleDiscovery is a little too web-friendly. By that, I mean to say that because of its usability across the web, side profiles constantly popped up whenever my cursor hovered a little too close to someone’s Twitter handle. Obviously, this could get annoying if you didn’t intend to learn more about that particular person, but in no way does it take away from the platform’s overall value to the user.
Currently, Connect6°’s PeopleDiscovery is only available for Google Chrome, but the company is currently working on browser extensions for Firefox and Safari.
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