Posted January 15, 2008 9:08 am by with 6 comments

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Facebook is “one hundred percent” buying Plaxo, we’ve just heard from a source.

Wow, starting your story with that sentence certainly grabs your attention, doesn’t it? VentureBeat’s managed to make a statement of "fact" without actually saying that it has confirmed the story. Nice!

Well, assuming it’s "one hunded percent" then I guess we can soon expect our Plaxo accounts to start sniffing around our business contacts and phoning home to the Facebook mothership. You see, part of the reason why Facebook would be interested in coughing-up as much as $200M for Plaxo is that the service has done a great job of convincing us to install its plugins and share our contact info.

That’s the type of info that would be very valuable to Facebook…

Mountain View, Calif.-based Plaxo could help Facebook gather data through its large user base, and through its plugins for email programs Microsoft Outlook, Mac Mail, and Thunderbird as well as a plugin for instant message service AIM, among others. Plaxo has developed technology to sync contacts through its home web site and its plugins, to create a sort of universal address book. It has also developed native mobile syncing technology for Windows Mobile and other mobile operating systems. Syncing between all of these different services is a very hard problem — that Plaxo has solved.

If the deal goes through, and I start seeing Facebook all over my Plaxo account, I for one won’t be rejoicing. Maybe I’m just too immersed in social media, but I’m just not thrilled about Facebook these days. My six month love affair ended recently as I realized that my contacts just want to send me chain letters or join groups to save a TV show. Nope, I’m finding it to be more enjoyable to connect with those in my Twitter network–which, BTW, could really benefit from a stronger "network" component.

Still, if my love affair with Facebook has dwindled, the one with Plaxo is stone cold. I haven’t touched Plaxo in about a year–when I stopped using Outlook, Plaxo became impotent–and so they can feel free to hook-up and share all the info they want. There, doesn’t it feel good to have the Pilgrim’s blessing on the marriage? 😉

Do you use Plaxo? Have you stopped using Facebook? Do you think this will be the best union since TomKat?

  • RKF

    This is why I never installed or signed up with Plaxo, despite the numerous requests. I figured it was just a matter of time until the TOS changed and/or they were bought out by a larger company.

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  • I love Plaxo’s ability to sync Outlook and Gmail. That’s why I ended up there. I don’t mind using their Pulse feature to feed a blog or Twitter stream through, but this is why I declared Facebook bankruptcy.

    I don’t want to mix my professional and social graph. I don’t want my business contacts trying to suck me back into the Facebook mess. Like you, I had a brief fling playing with my friends until I realized there was just too much about me personally on FB.

    I would consider non-renewing Plaxo as a result, or at the very least, going stealth and using it to sync the calendars and contacts from home, work and my wife’s office.

  • lux

    Last time I checked Plaxo out, they had zero support for my e-mail client of choice, Thunderbird. Since manual import data would have been a huge drag, I punted. No regrets.

    I like Facebook, but I don’t like it enough to want to spend a bunch of time segmenting my personal and professional contacts, deciding who gets to see what information about me (or deleting stuff if that’s not possible), etc etc. That would be a lot of work and not much benefit, IMO.

  • I agree Andy, with websites such as Facebook, you get more than a few contacts who are interested in nothing more than advertising certain products, even if, at the beginning, they’re trying to make it seem as though they’re only interested in chatting.

    Alan Johnson

  • This would be a sad thing since Plaxo has recently started delivering some interesting functionality. I’m soooo over Facebook, but it does serve a utilitarian function as my online address book. But these days I’m loving Twitter much more than the others.