LinkedIn kills off Rapportive features to ‘simplify’ the experience

LinkedIn is ending support for numerous features in Rapportive, a Gmail plugin that gives you context about the people you email.

LinkedIn bought Rapportive in 2012 for as much as $15 million.

Quietly announced on its FAQ, LinkedIn shares that Rapportive will no longer support “Raplets,” the company’s name for third-party Rapportive extensions. Rapportive Raplets first launched back in 2010. LinkedIn is also killing off support for Rapportive notes, a feature that allowed users to jot down and recall comments on specific contacts. LinkedIn shares that its “Rapportive contextual gadget for Google Apps” will be discontinued as well.

LinkedIn plans to drop the features above on July 31. The company offered users a non-answer for why these features are now dead in the water [emphasis ours]:

At LinkedIn, we want to provide a simple and useful experience for members like you. From time to time, we take a closer look at how our features are being used by our members. Sometimes that means we decide to eliminate a feature so we can better invest those resources in building new, great LinkedIn products.

But don’t stress, Rapportive die-hards; it appears that the Rapportive extension itself is not gone for good. Rapportive plans to add “deeper integration with LinkedIn so you’ll see more LinkedIn profile information and your shared connections within Rapportive,” LinkedIn said in a statement. LinkedIn also shares that it is “making changes to improve the product’s speed and reliability.”

A screenshot of the Rapportive plugin in Gmail.

Above: A screenshot of the Rapportive plugin in Gmail.

Rapportive “accidentally” launched its self-titled Gmail plugin back in 2010 and immediately attracted hordes of users eager to extend Gmail’s functionality. Rapportive joined the Y Combinator startup accelerator days later.

Ultimately, LinkedIn claims its goal is to “simplify the Rapportive experience.” LinkedIn offered a similar explanation when it killed off its questionably secure Intro service and SlideCast app.

More information:

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network on the internet, with more than 259 million members worldwide, including executives from Fortune 500 companies. Founded on May 5, 2003, by Reid Hoffman and founding team members f... read more »

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21 comments
Arjun R Pillai
Arjun R Pillai

Friends, Rapportive was awesome. But it is less useful now. For the same reason, we built http://vibeapp.co/. please check it out. We are all ears for feedback. 

Satyajit Sahu
Satyajit Sahu

Don't kill something thats alive and kicking! Don't touch whats working, working really well!

Dean Nicolls
Dean Nicolls

There are a few worthwile competitors out there to consider.....Connect6, Nimble, etc.  Not all is lost ;)

Pankaj Sharma
Pankaj Sharma

Absolute Nonsense. A product that was doing great and had tons of users giving nice experience to them, you decided to shut it off.

Ruchit Garg
Ruchit Garg

Heh, it was so useful, but only when it worked

Chris Waldron
Chris Waldron

Yeah they ruined rapporitive, now it's just a linkedin only tool. No more notes or other sites data being pulled in.. what a shame

Shay Moradi
Shay Moradi

Rubbish. I bet they'll roll it out as a premium thing

Takeshi Young
Takeshi Young

Simplify? Does anyone really find Rapportive too complicated? Honestly, you just install it and it works. No need to take away features from power users.

Simon Baier
Simon Baier

Clearly a self serving "update" at the cost of user experience. 

Matthew Kotler
Matthew Kotler

So vague, I feel like they're really just removing the Facebook extension and keeping everything else...?