PROFESSIONAL SOCIAL NETWORK Linkedin launched Contacts today, a web and iOS app that acts as an address book, bundling Linkedin acquaintances, online calendars and e-mail conversations into a relationship management system.
"LinkedIn Contacts is a smarter way to stay in touch with your most important relationships," the firm said in a statement. "Bring all your contacts together in one app, get alerted on job changes and birthdays in your network, and discover more about who you're meeting with."
The technology behind the app is powered by a firm called Connected that Linkedin acquired in 2011. The business networking service said that the reason behind the software is that it makes it much easier to prepare for a day of meetings, for example, by looking up the details of each person you're meeting with quickly via the app.
It sorts contacts by recent conversation and allows you to filter by company or location so you can access the people you need much quicker.
The app also lets you see where you left off in a conversation, so you can "review your most recent correspondence with a contact before picking up the phone".
As for availability, the app isn't offered to just any Tom, Dick or Harry as it is on "limited release" by invitation only. It's not even downloadable in the UK yet, and is only available in the US.
We've contacted Linkedin to ask when the UK is likely to see Contacts on the web and in the App Store.
Earlier this month, Linkedin integrated a Facebook-style tool that allows users to mention and hyperlink people and companies on the network in status updates and conversations.
The feature works the same way as it does on Facebook, suggesting a name from a drop-down menu when the user begins to type it. The introduction of direct mentions followed Linkedin's addition last year of "endorsements", a rather pointless feature that allows users to recognise professionals for their expertise. µ