Xobni, a very useful Microsoft Oulook plug-in (s msft) that we’ve covered with praise previously, has just released a new update that now reveals more information about your contacts, including acquiring valuable data from their Salesforce account. This has been a much-demanded feature that is available for all Xobni users for free at this time. Ultimately, there will be a small fee for this feature but the return on investment for those organizations that use Outlook and Salesforce will make the decision a no-brainer.
The other new feature that most people might have missed in a previous update (I know I did) is the ability to access each contact’s Twitter account information. This was also a very popular request from Xobni’s userbase who’ve previously been able to access their contacts’ Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. Adding Twitter and SalesForce connectivity to your address book makes a great deal of sense.
Here’s an example of what the Xobni panel displays next to your email message. Not only will you see the usual information such as phone numbers, email addresses and threaded email conversations, but now you can actually view that contact’s Twitter stream (once you connect the right Twitter account, based on the email address used). Notice how you can actually send a tweet right from Xobni as well as unfollow the contact and view their Twitter profile for even more information.
Personally, I love this hot trend of infusing intelligence into our otherwise under-utilized address books. Services such as Xobni, Gist and the one that started it all, Plaxo, are providing tremendous value by allowing us to get more from our contacts. It’s baffling to me that Google has not done much with contacts in Gmail. Things will become even more interesting when (not if) Google finally adds social networking power to its address book.
Do you use Xobni?