Rapportive: Replace Google Ads in Gmail with Social CRM – First Impression

I received a tweet today from @chrislogiste: LifeHacker released an article about Rapportive. Reading through, as well as the articles from ReadWriteWeb and TheNextWeb, it seems interesting and I want to explore more about what this add-on is about.

Rapportive.com is as minimalist as a webpage with a embedded 5 slide demo about what Rapportive is and an Install button. There is currently nothing else about Rapportive. No TOS, no Privacy Policy, no About Us, etc. It looks like they are working on a privacy policy at the moment.

The add-on is made by a Startup Company @rapportive of 3 people : Sam Stokes(@samstokes), Martin Klepmann (@martinkl) and Rahul Vohra (@rahulvohra)

It is about substituting Google Ads by Social CRM data gathered from RapLeaf.com. Available for Firefox and Google Chrome, I tested the add-on with Firefox. I was not able to test it from my Application shortcut (I’m not talking Google Chrome here, but Firefox+Prism). Maybe I missed something, not major at this stage thought.

Probably not on Rapportive’ side is that when clicking to “Log in to Rapportive” I have a Google Account window popup in Dutch. WTF. My account is set to French and I’m viewing Gmail in English. I’ll spit discuss about this later.

Browsing through comments and tweets, I learned that the Login process is the Google Account sign in process. I’m glad to hear that Rapportive doesn’t transfer my account+password into their house. It does transfers thought email addresses you would hoover when you open/select an email in Gmail. If you are ok with that approach you shall be ok. (Saying that I’m happy to see email address of my contacts transiting to outside of Gmail is different)

So time to see in real situation what it does isn’t it?

Unfortunately, my profile doesn’t show up and I wonder why. No screenshot of the Rapportive add-on then (you have some examples in the links provided above anyway). I hoovered on many email addresses in my inbox, but so far only one displayed *some* information about that specific contact: LinkedIn and Flickr. However that person is much more active on various other social network. Understanding what info can be displayed is unclear and the tweet exchanges I had demonstrate that Rapportive doesn’t have the answer neither. Rather bizarre isn’t it?

Rapportive only displays what Rapleaf is able to provide to them which means what they have been able to gather from online public data about that user. I haven’t found description of what Rapleaf is collecting; It is not described on their website.

As a summary, I sense this add-on has the capability to be a must-have add-on for Firefox and Google Chrome if you are a Gmail user. However the tools itself needs to mature a bit:

  • first of all publish: a clear TOS and Privacy Policy (I know they are working on it). This is key to raise the trust with the user.
  • being able to correct (suggest/submit for approval, etc) content displayed in the add-on.
  • being able to choose which social CRM to connect to (it would be great to be able to set one of its own -> this would greatly increase the potential of Rapportive for the entreprise world). Adding other CRM backend connectors is in their roadmap.

Straight from the beginning I had also a question in the side of my mind: I wonder how Google will react if Rapportive gets mass attraction? Indeed at the end this is preventing Google Ads to be displayed in a Google tools (Gmail). Time will tell us the answer.

Oh and I like their Twitter logo: Simple and Stylish.

It is worth monitoring how this will evolve.

Did you tested Rapportive ? what is your initial felling about it?

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1 Response to “Rapportive: Replace Google Ads in Gmail with Social CRM – First Impression”


  • Hi there, I’m CEO of Rapportive.

    >Probably not on Rapportive’ side is that when clicking to « Log in to Rapportive » I have a Google Account window popup in Dutch. WTF

    Sorry you had this problem. I think this is because Google seems to do some geolocation by IP. For a while, all my Google Account logins were in Dutch too (wtf?), but they’ve since gone back to English.

    > However the tools itself needs to mature a bit:

    Fully agree with your ideas. As do others: checkout http://rapportive.uservoice.com

    > Oh and I like their Twitter logo: Simple and Stylish.

    Thanks. Calibri ftw!

    Best,
    Rahul

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