All Things D is reporting that professional social network powerhouse, LinkedIn, will be buying contact start-up Rapportive. The deal isn’t official (yet) and there’s nothing on either Rapportive or LinkedIn’s blog, but seems there are sources saying that it will happen. Not wanting to comment on the validity of this rumor, I wanted to instead focus on the fact that this would be a great deal in the making for both companies – should this actually happen, that is.

RapportiveIn case you’re not familiar with Rapportive, it’s a service that integrates inside Gmail to provide you helpful information about your contacts right inside your inbox. So if you’re crafting an email to a business colleague, that contact’s information and social graph (as long as it’s public) will be displayed right on the screen where you might normally see Google ads being displayed. This is especially helpful since you’re going to get to apply some more context to your emails to help make it more personal. Since its founding in 2010 by Rahul Vohra, Martin Kleppmann and Sam Stokes, the goal of the service was to allow people to immediately see what people look like (using social media avatars), where they’re based, and they do. And just like the name implies, the service is meant to help people establish a rapport that can lead to more conversations, relationships, and success. There’s no doubt that Rapportive has been successful in this area as over 20 million lookups are being done through their system every month!

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