Update: Microsoft also reportedly has deals in place with Facebok and MySpace which will see these social networks integrated with Outlook as well.
Original Article: Email and social media continue to get closer together in a variety of ways. Google launched Google Buzz in Gmail, Mozilla has Raindrop, and Facebook is said to be working on its own web mail service. MySpace already created one. These are a few examples.Today, LinkedIn announced a partnership with Microsoft that will put LinkedIn user networks in directly in their Microsoft Outlook inboxes.
"At LinkedIn, we believe every professional is more productive when their professional network is close at hand and available wherever they spend their professional time," says LinkedIn Director of Product Management, Elliot Shmukler. If users spend that time in Outlook, this should help.
To use the feature, users can follow these steps:
- Download the latest version of the Outlook Social Connector from Microsoft (Outlook 2003, 2007, or 2010 is required)
- Once that is installed, download the LinkedIn Outlook Connector
- Restart your Outlook and follow the instructions to connect your LinkedIn account to Outlook
LinkedIn for Outlook is still in beta, and may require some tweaks before it's perfect, but LinkedIn is actively encouraging feedback, so users can voice their concerns easily.
Not only do moves like this reinforce how important social media has become to business, but they also reinforce the staying power of email. There has been a great deal of discussion in the past about how social media could kill email, but to the contrary, we're seeing more and more moves by social networks to become more integrated with the email channel. For email marketers, this is great news.