Tag Archive | "interactions"

Facebook Will Give Up The Ghost On Real Identity In Future Apps

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Facebook has made a big point over the years of having real identities for its users, but it looks like that requirement is soon going to disappear, and users will able to use made-up names for more anonymity. Call it the Snapchat effect.

According to a profile of Mark Zuckerberg published today in BusinessWeek — to mark the Facebook’s 10th anniversary — the social network plans to let users log in anonymously in a set of new apps it is planning to release (for more on that app strategy, check out Josh’s insightful look here). Paper, a new Facebook reading app out today, does require Facebook login, but that looks like it may now become the exception rather than the rule.

Zuckerberg once described the idea of having two identities as showing a “lack of integrity,” but he now says that real identity can be a millstone. “I don’t know if the balance has swung too far, but I definitely think we’re at the point where we don’t need to keep on only doing real identity things,” he told BusinessWeek. “If you’re always under the pressure of real identity, I think that is somewhat of a burden.”

The profile notes that there has been a lot of internal debate at the company about the use of real identities, which some might argue was a throwback to another time. The requirement for real names came about in the first place because at the time Facebook was founded, most social networks and forums were based around made-up names, and Facebook — as a way of bridging the virtual experience with the real world, and drawing in more users (it worked!) — put in the rule to raise accountability.

“It’s definitely, I think, a little bit more balanced now 10 years later,” Zuckerberg notes. “I think that’s good.”

But to say that the decision to drop identity was born in a blue Facebook bubble may not be quite right, either.

Real identity may have helped persuade more people to join Facebook — and through Facebook’s social sign-in has become a way of identifying yourself in hundreds of other apps and websites. But some have also turned away from Facebook for the same reason. You may not want to post funny pictures of yourself drunk at a party if they may one day be easily found by someone who you didn’t intend to see them. (Yes, there are privacy settings, but they’re a lot more fiddly than the act of taking and posting a photo or comment are.)

Many have pointed out that part of the allure of new kid Snapchat for younger users is the ephemerality of the content — it disappears after it’s sent. But it’s also notable that you can use whatever name you like on there, too.

Something Zuckerberg also doesn’t mention in his reasons for embracing anonymity is the fact that the social network has been under pressure in some places specifically for its real-name requirement. In Germany, the regulator has said that Facebook’s real-name policty “erodes online freedoms.”

It’s also not Facebook’s first foray into letting people use different names on the network. When it first launched verified accounts in 2012, it gave those people verified the option of using nicknames in all of their interactions (although even then the registered names were still their real names).

There is also the example of Facebook Messenger, which you can opt to use without a Facebook account on Android, although you still have to give over another piece of your data — your phone number.

The lack of identity in future apps is a very interesting turn of events — it points to Facebook wanting to change with the times, and with consumer (and perhaps regulatory) sentiment, but it also shows that it’s figured out more sophisticated ways of tracking and monetizing your time on its properties regardless. Even if you’re Ingy123 instead of Ingrid.

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

Twitter Says New Blocking Policy Which Allows Following, Tweet Interaction Is To Prevent Retaliation

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Twitter has introduced a new blocking policy that is materially different from the one that they’ve had in the past. Blocked users can now see your tweets while logged in and continue to follow you on the service, allowing potential harassers or abusers to continue to track your updates on the network, even though you’ve explicitly blocked them.

This greatly reduces the effectiveness of some aspects of the block functionality on Twitter and opens the door for those who have been harassed or stalked on social networks to have their updates monitored more easily. Blocked users can now retweet your tweets, fave them and RT them while logged into their account.

TechCrunch spoke to Twitter about the changes, and the company says that the change, which does not notify or alert the person you’ve blocked in any way, was done to prevent a scenario of retaliation. The company said that they had seen situations where users, once they discovered that they had been blocked — because they could no longer view tweets or interact with tweets — would find other ways to attack or harass the blocker or even be spurred to greater abuse.

Twitter says that another reason for the change is to better communicate to users that ‘blocked’ does not mean ‘invisible’ and that your information is still public.

This new method means that the only way to prevent someone from following you or interacting with your tweets is to make your account completely private. This will prevent anyone you block from seeing your tweets.

While we doubt Twitter had anything but good intentions here, changing blocking because a blocker might be antagonizing or inciting someone they’ve blocked just by blocking them will likely not sit well with victims of harassment.

It’s worth noting that you could previously view the public tweets of users that had blocked you while logged out of the service — and by visiting a profile page. But now they can do it while logged in and interact with them. If you’ve blocked them, you will not see these interactions, but others will, and those you have blocked will still be able to fave tweets, for instance, and see those in a list of tweets that they’ve faved.

This new blocking method is more of a mute filter that prevents you from seeing any tweets or interactions from a blocked follower. But those interactions still happen. In some ways, this new method is actually a more accurate picture of what happens with a Twitter account when you block someone. They could always see your tweets and manually RT them to their followers by copying and pasting text. Now, however, they can do so within the constructs of Twitter — you just cannot see them. Though their followers and anyone searching for your name can.

Twitter notes that those tweets may also show up in your searches.

Here is the current blocking policy:

If you block another user, you will no longer see:

  • The user in your follower list
  • Any updates from that user in your Home timeline, including any of their Tweets that were retweeted by accounts you follow
  • Their @replies or mentions in your Connect tab
  • Any interactions with that user’s Tweets or account (i.e., favorites, follows or Retweets) in your Interactions or Activity tabs

Twitter also notes the following:

If your account is public, blocking a user does not prevent that user from following you, interacting with your Tweets, or receiving your updates in their timeline. If your Tweets are protected, blocking the user will cause them to unfollow you.

And here’s the previous policy:

Blocked users cannot:

  • Add your Twitter account to their lists.
  • Have their @replies or mentions show in your mentions tab (although these Tweets may still appear in search).
  • Follow you.
  • See your profile picture on their profile page or in their timeline.

Privacy note: If your Tweets are public (i.e., not protected), they will still be visible on your public profile page to anyone, regardless of whether they have a Twitter account or not.

We do not send notification to a user when you block them, but because they will no longer be able to follow you, they may notice that they’ve been blocked.

The changes to Twitter’s policy may indeed prevent some immediate knowledge that a user has been blocked, though they didn’t get a notification before and still won’t get one now. It could cause a lag between the time that they get blocked and when they realize it — but the scenario by which this could prevent retaliation once discovered gets blurrier.

Many Twitter users who have been abused and who undergo continuous harassment on Twitter — especially women — will likely not be pleased that their tweets can now be easily favorited and re-tweeted within the confines of Twitter’s platform. Yes, their tweets were never truly private because Twitter is a public service — but a policy that makes it easier to interact with tweets and add commentary to them (even if it’s not visible to you, personally) seems like it’s missing the point.

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

Trifacta Raises $12M For Platform That Uses Human And Machine Interactions To Prepare Data For Analysis

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Trifacta, a platform to prepare data for analysis, has closed a $12 million Series B round led by Greylock Partners and Accel Partners. The company has now raised a total of $16.3 million.

In an email interview, CEO and Co-Founder Joe Hellerstein said the company’s platform is designed for business analysts and data scientists to explore, manipulate and cleanse data for the purpose of analysis. The technology is based on research at Berkeley and Stanford that focuses on the interactions between humans and machines to transform data into something useful and meaningful. The process of this human-computer interaction is meant for the analyst and the machine to both provide insights based on the patterns in the information.

On the Trifacta platform, users work with visual data and smart suggestions, while machine learning methods analyze data and user interactions, Hellerstein said. The interplay makes this process of data transformation more accessible to business data analysts, while increasing the productivity of quantitative data scientists who can use the human-machine interaction to get through various types of data in a faster manner.

Hellerstein said use cases are for just about any industry — a large computing device vendor, for example, that has products in the field that are shipped back to the manufacturer so the behavior data on the device can be analyzed. The data tend to be complex and particular to the revision and configuration of each device. Trifacta’s platform allows the product divisions to do their own data transformation on the raw data logs and transform them into data that can be loaded into business intelligence and predictive analytics tools. The process gives the manufacturer the ability to do maintenance prediction, feature usage assessment, quantitative product design revision, etc.

Human-machine interaction is an emerging field that is gaining in popularity as the methods for analyzing data become more accessible. The complexity is lessening as machine learning and other advanced analytics practices get filtered through visual tools.

For example, Hellerstein pointed to the work of Mike Bostock at the New York Times who uses D3.js in his data visualizations that appear online and in the newspaper.  He originally developed D3.js with Trifacta Co-Founder Jeff Heer while the two were studying at Stanford. D3.js is a JavaScript library for manipulating documents based on data that allows for visualizations in the browser.

A company like Trifacta represents two trends, said Ronnie Mitra, an API architect, who I interviewed at API Days, a conference now taking place in Paris. The utility for data is illustrated in the way companies are driving more decisions by analyzing mass troves of information.

“The other trend is leveraging the UX to provide niche experiences,” Mitra said. “For a long time there was a focus on function, the things that programs do. “The pioneers of interaction design have started moving things up,” to the application level.

Trifacta is part of a new generation of companies that provide data-driven analysis for customers to do business intelligence, risk analysis and a host of other matters. The challenge for Trifacta is building a service that competes with a variety of different tools from companies like Informatica, Revolution Analytics and Pentaho.

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

Facebook rolling out new Page Insights globally

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The new and improved Page Insights, which have been rolling out slowly to Facebook page admins, are coming to all page owners soon. Facebook announced that all page admins should have the new insights soon, showing data such as performance by post type and deeper demographic data about the fanbase.

For a through dive into the new Facebook Page Insights, click here.

Facebook explained, in a Facebook for Business blog post, how the new insights will make it easier for admins to better understand how their posts are performing:

To help Page admins better see how people interact with their content, we split the People Talking About This (PTAT) metric into separate elements: Page Likes, People Engaged (the number of unique people who have clicked on, liked, commented on, or shared your posts), Page tags and mentions, Page checkins and other interactions on a Page.

The Virality metric was also renamed Engagement Rate and, in order to help admins better gauge overall post quality, now includes clicks as part of its measurements.

Many page admins have been invited to try these new metrics, and the site has prompted owners to convert on the dashboard of their page admin screen.

Facebook notes that the new Page Insights was soft launched in June and has been in testing ever since.

The site is still open to feedback from page admins.

Readers: What do you think about the new Page Insights?

Article courtesy of Inside Facebook

Not Verified? Here’s The Twitter View From Where I’m Sitting

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So you aren’t verified on Twitter. Don’t worry. There is still time — unlike for Congress to fund the government. But I digress.

Anyway, what you might not have known is that if you are verified, you get access to a neat filter option inside the Interactions tab of Twitter’s web interface. It allows you to see only interactions with your account that come from other verified users. It’s essentially a way to hang out only in the cool kids’ club. And it’s great.

Here are three screenshots of my Twitter interaction feed, taken back to back. First, the normal, noisy interaction feed that is labeled “All”:

I had just asked a question, so the influx was heavy with people I know and people I don’t know. Now, let’s see what the “Filtered” option looks like:

Okay so a number of @ messages have been culled, enough that we can now see favorites as far back as eight minutes.

Now, to the final tier — the “Verified” filter tab:

A whole new world! So that’s that: Twitter from the verified perspective.

Top Image Credit: Shawn Campbell

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

Facebook boosts image size for desktop, mobile ads

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Facebook announced Tuesday more changes to its ad formats, making the visuals pop a little bit more. Starting today, the company is streamlining the image sizes for its ads and making them bigger.

For instance, page post link ads on desktop will now feature a 3.5-times larger image than before. Clicks on that image will lead users directly to the website.

A Facebook spokesperson announced the news to Inside Facebook:

Making ad specs consistent across placements means advertisers no longer need multiple image sizes for different ad placements. These updates also give advertisers a bigger canvas to display their brand or product (we’ve seen that larger images help drive engagement and performance).

Below the jump, see examples of the new ad formats.

Here’s what the new page post link ads look like on desktop and mobile:

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Salesforce + Zillow? RealScout Lands $1.1M From DCM, Formation 8 For More Personal, Collaborative Real Estate Search

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RealScout, a new real estate technology company based in Sunnyvale, announced today that it has raised $1.1 million in seed financing from DCM’s mobile‐focused A‐Fund, as well as Formation 8 and angel investors like long-time realtor, Ken DeLeon. With its new funding, RealScout wants to continue expanding its listings search engine, which the team designed to stand out from the crowd in real estate search by focusing on granularity and serving more refined (and detailed) results.

RealScout is the latest in a growing list of startups operating on the premise that the tools we use to search for local real estate are outdated and broken. As such, companies like Redfin, Zillow and Trulia, for example, have found success by focusing on improving consumer experience, bringing simpler, user-friendly tools to the opaque and confusing world of real estate search.

However, while this shift in focus to the end-user has been a boon for the space, improving the consumer experience by leaps and bounds (and minting a few IPOs in the process), RealScout CEO Andrew Flachner believes the change has come at cost, which few are talking about.

Flachner tells us that he sees real estate agents getting the short end of the stick and are being left behind. Generally speaking, agents are still using outdated search and client management tools — ones that tend to confound their clients, who turn to national portals as a result, where quickly get disconnected from agents and lured away by competitors. The co-founders launched RealScout last year to address this imbalance and put realtors back in the driver’s seat — both by making the search process itself more collaborative and by offering them better tools to engage clients and find new business.

With most real estate search tools today, the priority is on casting the widest net possible — on quantity and not necessarily on quality or refining the criteria they use to serve more interesting matches. Today, RealScout offers potential buyers the ability to use specific parameters to refine their search for local listings, allowing them to search by floor plans, type of floors, the amount of natural light and some 500 other specific home features.

Naturally, Flachner and company believe that by expanding their data set to include 500 unique characteristics and data points on active home listings, they can make it easier for clients and realtors to discover potentially deal-breaking (or making) features like a giant backyard or proximity to public transportation.

Of course, while improving indexing and metadata is important, that isn’t something that’s totally out of the technical capacity of some of the bigger names in this space. RealScout realizes that if it’s going to steal you away from Trulia (and others), which offer advanced search tools (even if not 500 unique data points), it can ramp up the value of its tools by going after realtors.

In other words, RealScout essentially wants to marry Zillow’s feel to the more powerful B2B, CRM and engagement tools of a company like Salesforce. Both through its web and mobile platforms, the startup allows realtors to collaborate with their clients during the search, while tapping into natural language-based email marketing software and lightweight CRM tools.

Agents can set up automated natural language email alerts and highlight new listings for clients that are actually customized to fit their preferences. And, on the CRM front, the platform aims to offer better visibility into what their clients are searching for, while keeping tabs on engagement, their interactions with customers and identifying leads.

A lot of product development in the tech industry today, especially in software, seems bent on automation in some way or another. While much of this will help reduce costs and improve margins, the RealScout co-founders are eager to build software that helps people do their jobs better and get a more robust understanding their clients, not just offer shortcuts or take them out of the equation completely. And to that end, it’s not about disintermediation either, but creating more value by improving the dynamic between agents and their clients — and not just in a creepy way.

The startup is now servicing real estate agents in the Bay Area and plans to use its new financing to expand further both within California and throughout the U.S.

For more, find RealScout at home here.

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

Video Platform OpenWatch Aims To Support Global Citizen Journalism

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OpenWatch, which presented at media startup accelerator Matter‘s NYC Demo Day today, wants to become a video platform for citizen journalism worldwide. Founded in November last year, the company is at the start of its fundraising process, with the hope of closing a fast seed round to get things off the ground.

The purpose of OpenWatch is to create a global network of video reporters and investigators who can expose important issues around the world, co-founder and CEO Rich Jones tells us. The appeal of OpenWatch is especially apparent overseas in countries where the press isn’t free.

“We still have a semblance of a free press [in the U.S.],” Jones said. ”This project has serious international implications. I really do believe that mobile tech and network tech has a huge opportunity for creating a public free press for countries that didn’t have that opportunity before.”

He added that although Android adoption overseas is taking off, those without smartphones can call an OpenWatch line and use the phone as a voice recorder.

Since the new version of OpenWatch launched one month ago, Jones said thousands have been using the network — NSA PRISM protests generated videos from Atlanta, Boston, and Chicago, for instance.

Multifaceted storytelling provides perspectives that might go untold in a news report written by one person. At the same time, open source journalism means that the facts might be unintentionally skewed, or worse, hijacked as propaganda.

For that, OpenWatch includes full primary sources with all videos so that if a viewer is dissatisfied with the story, he can fact-check it himself. Everything, including phone calls and emails, should be posted and considered on the record.

The OpenWatch platform is also meant as a resource for official news organizations.

“Maybe the New York Times can send someone [abroad], but the Village Voice can’t,” Jones said. “This really lowers the cost of doing that kind of international reporting.”

OpenWatch existed as an open source project for a number of years before the company was officially founded. During that time, the founders also created an application called Cop Recorder, which gave people a platform to secretly film their interactions with police officers and upload those videos. Those were built into a global map of police encounters that spoke to regional trends in police enforcement and civil rights abuses, Jones said.

“I don’t like seeing the current role of media as public relations or propagandist,” Jones said. “There’s not that much that does what journalism is supposed to do, to keep authorities accountable.”

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

Who Is Tech’s Most Inspiring New Founder? SV Angel’s Ron Conway, David Lee, And Brian Pokorny Name Names [TCTV]

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Ron Conway, David Lee, and Brian Pokorny meet new startup founders practically every day as investors at renowned angel funding firm SV Angel. So when they came backstage at this week’s Disrupt NYC event after their on-stage talk with Michael Arrington, I asked them to talk about the most inspiring up-and-coming founders they’ve met with lately — people who may be flying a little more under the radar than the Jack Dorseys of the tech scene at the moment, but could very well be the next big thing.

What’s fantastic is that each partner had a favorite, and they all named names — so it was pretty interesting to hear. Conway pointed to Georg Petschnigg of FiftyThree, the startup behind hot iPad app Paper; Pokorny named Arjun Sethi of MessageMe; and Lee said he has been very impressed by the co-founders of Science Exchange, Dan Knox, Ryan Abbott, and Elizabeth Iorns.

And that wasn’t all we discussed. We also talked about why the firm is optimistic that the tech industry’s brightest times are still ahead, the New York companies that SV Angel has been talking to during their current trip out east, how Conway’s increasingly active work in the political realm influences his interactions on the business side, and more. Check it all out in the video embedded above.

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

LinkedIn Turns Its Contacts Section Into A Personal Assistant, With Google, Yahoo, Evernote & Outlook Apps Integration And A Standalone iPhone App

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Make way for another major update to the LinkedIn platform: today the company is relaunching its Contacts section as a smart contact management system that will let users link up and integrate connections on LinkedIn with those from Google, Yahoo and Microsoft apps; Evernote; TripIt; your iPhone and more, and then serve as a “personal assistant” to help manage the interactions you make with them.

Along with this, LinkedIn is launching a Contacts app for the iPhone — its third standalone app in addition to LinkedIn itself and business card scanner CardMunch, and the first time that LinkedIn has broken out one feature of its platform in its own app. Sachin Rekhi, the creator of Contacts, says that access to the new Contacts will come in stages: first to a limited number of users in the U.S., then to the rest of the country, and then to the rest of LinkedIn’s user base worldwide.

The iPhone app, meanwhile, will be free to download and use with no specific plans for monetizing at the moment. As a point of comparison, the company’s new iPhone and Android apps, introduced last week, are now running a limited number of mobile ads.

Contacts is the first big product to come out of LinkedIn’s October 2011 acquisition of Connected, the smart contacts management platform it bought to “revolutionize contact management” on LinkedIn. Rekhi, the product lead for Contacts, was one of the co-founders of Connected.

The main idea behind it is to help LinkedIn become more of a platform for managing and interacting with people you know through work. In turn, this will (LinkedIn hopes) increase the amount of time that users spend on LinkedIn as a whole. While some of LinkedIn’s recent updates — for example, the new Recruiter pages — may be aimed more at “power users” (and paying users) of the platform, Contacts has a more universal feel to it. We all face the same problems: we connect with people in different ways online, and this is an offering to manage that in a better and smarter way.

This comes through a number of feature updates:

Whereas in the old version of Contacts, LinkedIn allowed for one-off imports from services like Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Outlook and others, what users can do now is integrate those contacts as live links, so when something changes on any of those third party accounts, the info gets updated in LinkedIn.

The full list of services that can be integrated include Gmail, Google Contacts, Google Calendar; Google Apps Mail, Contacts, Calendar; Yahoo! Mail, Contacts, Calendar; Outlook Mail, Contacts, Calendar; iPhone Address Book (via the LinkedIn Contacts app); LinkedIn’s CardMunch service; Evernote and TripIt. Outlook Contacts CSV, Mac Address Book vCard and Yahoo! Contacts CSV are all supported as one-off contact imports. Here’s how it looks when you’ve started to import contacts:

When you link up any of the above, LinkedIn automatically finds and adds the new contact details to any pre-existing names in your contact list. The different sources then appear as icons next to each name:

That list, in turn, can now be organised in different ways, using a tab in the upper right corner, with different views including by recent conversations (and its communications opposite, by those with whom we’ve lost touch).  You can also view by those you’ve most recently added, alphabetical, company, and location. The last of these is about organizing users around what cities they are based in, but you can see how this might potentially get used in LinkedIn’s mobile app also to include a location-based feature and sort by people who are nearby — something that could be useful particularly at business events, for example.

Within each contact, you also now have an expanded relationship view that integrates all of the interactions you’ve had with a particular person over the different networks that have been integrated, along with any reminders that you have set yourself to connect in the future. This is a pretty nifty feature in that it doesn’t require manual updates for past events; instead it automatically aggregates whatever has happened already into a timeline of events:

Drawing back out into the wider Contacts interface, LinkedIn is making the interface more visually appealing, similar to the rest of its product refreshes. Here, this comes in the form of a photo carousel of your contacts, which runs across the top of the Contacts page and includes reminders for different tasks. Those reminders, in turn, automatically direct you to other tasks: for example, in the meeting reminder below, the “plan a meeting” button automatically goes to a screen where the user can send an email using whatever network the contact exists on (eg Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Outlook, etc.)

What the emphasis on third-party networks means, too, is that the new Contacts feature will also include the ability to integrate and tag people who are not in your LinkedIn networks but that you would potentially like to add at some point in the future; and of course you can also delete those that you do not want to add.

Gmail, for example, creates a contact out of everyone who has emailed you, but you may not actually want all those people in your larger Contacts network. Rekhi points out that even if they are imported, LinkedIn sorts “intelligently” and will pick up if you’re not actually interacting with people on a regular basis and subsequently rank them lower in non-alphabetical list views. “We apply an algorithm on top of that list [which asks] is that person interesting to you?” he explained.

The new Contacts service comes on the heels of a number of other new products that LinkedIn has been rolling out to widen out the usefulness of its site and make it a place where people will visit more often and for longer.

In addition to the new iPhone and Android apps, LinkedIn had a major website overhaul last year; launched a new search engine; introduced status update mentions and Klout-style endorsements; and it is also expanding its premium offerings, such as its Recruiter homepage for some of the site’s most prolific users.

Mobile is playing a big role in that drive for more usage. LinkedIn says that mobile is its fastest-growing consumer service at the moment, with 27% of its 155 million monthly users visiting LinkedIn via mobile apps (up from just 8% two years ago); and weekly mobile page views jumping 250% year-over-year.

LinkedIn is not committing to launching everything new on mobile at the same time as desktop, as it is with Contacts — “We believe in a multi-app approach when the use case warrants,” a spokesperson said — but it’s likely you will see a lot more features coming to mobile in the future. In the case of the new Contacts app, that will include special calendar and to-do views that bring in some of the features from LinkedIn’s flagship app. Rekhi also says that some features of Contacts will also likely be making their way to the main app in the future, too.

With the Contacts iPhone app, LinkedIn is opting again for a native-first approach: this reinforces comments made by LinkedIn last week, when it launched new versions of its Android and iPhone apps.

At the time, Kiran Prasad, head of mobile engineering for LinkedIn, described native as “more efficient” than HTML5 and mobile websites, while its head of mobile products, Joff Redfern, said that the company would be focusing more on native app experiences because some features simply were not possible to create yet on the mobile web.

That’s not to say multiple plaforms do not matter: with Contacts, Rekhi says Android and mobile web versions will be coming next.

At least in this early stage of the product, Contacts falls into a somewhat grey area between what are professional contacts and what are personal contacts, and what role LinkedIn plays.

Facebook and Twitter contacts are not included as import options right now. “Our members are focused are on professional life,” Rekhi explained as the reason for that.

But on the other hand, when asked if contacts from professional services like salesforce.com or other CRM networks will be importable in the future, Rekhi’s answer there was, “Our current focus is making it easy [to manage] personal relationships, not leverage those in the workplace setting.”

In the blurry areas between work and leisure that many of us occupy these days, you can kind of see what he means, but it’s also neither here nor there. But that’s possibly to LinkedIn’s advantage right now, as it continues to grow and figure out where it can compete or complement Twitter, Facebook, Google, Yammer and the rest.

One clue to where social networks may play a role in a later iteration of Contacts, however, is with Rapportive, the chrome extension that lets you view a contact’s public social media posts in Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google. LinkedIn acquired Rapportive a little over a year ago and has retained it as a standalone product.

“You can imagine integration with these kinds of applications in the future, but right now it’s not tied in,” said Rekhi. “They are separate services with separate database backends.”

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

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