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Xoopit wants to help you more easily distribute your photos, videos and files — and taps into your social network through your email account to do so.

The San Francisco-based company is in private beta, and it has a few components. It’s a plugin for Firefox that works in Gmail, it’s also a free-standing site and an iGoogle widget. Here’s the gist of how it works in Gmail (VentureBeat readers can get invites at the bottom of the article).

First, you install the plugin, then sign in to your Gmail account: Xoopit’s application appears within Gmail, above your messages. It searches through all of your emails to find attachments and links to photos, videos and other files, putting everything into a simple interface.

It collects lists of friends in your email, based on their relationship to the media file, so you can do things like comment on a photo and it will be emailed to the person who sent you the photo. You can also search Xoopit’s collection based on the person or topic. You can also post an item from Xoopit, from within Gmail, to Facebook or a blog.

In my testing today, the tool only pulled up a fraction of the media files that I have in Gmail — but the company’s site is no doubt getting hammered by its first big wave of users. The core of the company’s work has been in developing search and data-organization technology to enable it to access and sort so much data, and the team is comprised of experienced engineers from a variety of well-known search and data-analysis companies, so I expect these bugs to get fixed in short order.

The company is branding itself as a sort of social network for email because, as Bijan Marashi says, email is the largest, oldest data set on the web, and data in it is a mess.

The longer-term vision is to allow users to seamlessly import and export data across email services, social networks and other sites. Xoopit, like many startups, hopes to one day have complete access to data on sites like Facebook — so maybe Gmail users, could for example easily either dump all of their photos collected by Xoopit into Facebook, or vise versa. Marashi imagines someone being able to tag him in a Facebook photo, which he could comment on from within Xoopit in Gmail, and then have that comment appear on the photo in Facebook.

The company received seed funding from Foundation Capital 18 months ago, and Accel Partners joined the firm in funding the company in a Series A round, with total funding coming in at $6.5 million.

Get your invites here.

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