LinkedIn Disappearing Google Apps Gadget
A Rapportive application has vanished from the inboxes of its some Rapportive users. LinkedIn acquired Rapportive back in 2012. After doing so, it quietly announced it was eliminating the Rapportive Google Apps gadget “to simplify the experience”. Journalist Harrison Weber of Venture Beat weighed in with the following:
Back in June, Weber’s article inspired a slew of comments from concerned Rapportive users:
Simplify? Does anyone really find Rapportive too complicated? Honestly, you just install it and it works. No need to take away features from power users.
So with today’s deadline looming , I sent up a flare in a blog post warning users that a Rapportive Google App was going away. Only thing is I wasn’t entirely sure which one. LinkedIn’s announcement did not make that clear:
Changes to Rapportive: Rapportive Raplets, Notes, and Contextual Gadget to be discontinued. 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 . . . we’ll be removing 3 features from our Rapportive experience: Raplets, Notes, and the Rapportive contextual gadget for Google Apps.
Since I use Rapportive inside Google Apps gmail and since the application provided “context”, I initially feared that my app was at risk of becoming extinct. That’s not the case. The Chrome extension version called Rapportive is not going away.
Rapportive App That is NOT Going Away
What was confusing about the LinkedIn’s announcement is that it didn’t provide the actual name of the application or a link to the application. Though LinkedIn said it was eliminating “Rapportive contextual gadget for Google Apps”, there is no app by that name. That explains why I didn’t find it when I searched the Google Apps Marketplace yesterday. When I tried again today, I found Rapportive: Simple Social CRM for Google Apps . This appears to be the app that LinkedIn is eliminating.
Rapportive App That IS Going Away
Of course, having found the Rapportive Google App in question, there was only one thing to do: install it to see what would happen. Though today is the deadline that the app is going away, the installation was successful. Unlike the Chrome extension version of the Rapportive app that sits to the right of my email, the Google Apps contextual version of Rapportive appears in a grey box below each email.
I did some additional digging and found advice from Rapportive on how to tell if your app is the the contextual gadget that is being eliminated. Sure enough, if Rapportive appears below your email you can kiss that application goodbye.
Because the LinkedIn announcement failed to give the specific name of the application or to provide a link to the app in question, it seemed possible that it was eliminating the browser application From what I have been piece together today, that is not the case. So Rapportive lives on. Still with the LinkedIn acquisition of Rapportive, a larger questions remains:Will Rapportive remain true to its mission to respect user privacy? Rapportive has made a Pledge of Privacy to its users with the following promise:
We will never sell, rent or give away private data about you or your contacts. Our business is in making your inbox more powerful, not in selling databases.
The Rapportive agreement seems at odds with the current policies of LinkedIn to which all users must agree:
You still own what you own, but you grant us a license to the content and/or information you provide us.