LinkedIn kills off Rapportive features to 'simplify' the experience

LinkedIn-pen
Image Credit: Sheila Scarborough, Flickr

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.


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