Microsoft's $26.2 billion acquisition of business networking site LinkedIn is starting to pay off - at least in terms of product integrations that make sense. The company today announced that LinkedIn integration within Outlook.com is now going live, allowing email users to view insights, profile pictures, work history and more from within their inbox.
The addition of LinkedIn to Outlook was previously detailed in September at Microsoft Ignite. There, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella previewed how commercial Office 365 subscribers with LinkedIn profiles would soon be able to view LinkedIn information within Microsoft's apps and services.
In one example, an Outlook user researched the person they were meeting with using the LinkedIn profile information attached to their contact card inside their Outlook Calendar in Office 365. Integrations between LinkedIn and other Microsoft products and services, including Dynamics 365 for Sales and Microsoft’s CRM solution, were also announced at Ignite.
This would not be the first time that LinkedIn data found its way into email. Before being bought by Microsoft, LinkedIn itself acquired a smaller company called Rapportive which made a then popular Gmail add-in that integrated social profile data into Gmail's web app. It later revamped the app to focus more heavily on the LinkedIn integration, and less on connections to other services like Facebook and Twitter.
With the new Outlook integration, customers can click on an email contact's name right in their inbox then view a rich contact card that includes a link to their LinkedIn profile.
With a click, you can view a mini version of their profile right in this pop-up Office Profile Card, which includes highlights like mutual connections or shared work experiences - like if you both previously worked at the same company in the past, for example.
You can also opt to connect with the contact on LinkedIn.
The premise that detailed profile information should be a part of the email experience isn't unique to Microsoft's Outlook. Various startups, including meeting prep tool Charlie(which has since pivoted) or even Rapportive's founder Rahul Vohra's new startup, Superhuman, have offered similar dossiers on email contacts.
Microsoft said last month that the integrations between Outlook and LinkedIn would roll out to Outlook.com on the web, as well as SharePoint and OneDrive for Business. It will also become available within Outlook for Windows, Outlook for iOS, and other Office products in the months ahead, the company said then.
The integration with Outlook.com begins starting now, and will reach all customers by the end of November.