In case you haven’t heard yet, the new Plaxo-enabled version of AIM (called “Triton”) has now been officially released to the public. Thanks to everyone that participated in the beta program. We encourage everyone to download Triton and let us know what you think!
The Triton release is a really big deal for Plaxo. It’s by far the largest and deepest partner-integration we’ve ever done, and it’s going to result in (among other things) a big increase in the number of Plaxo members. This is great news for everyone that uses Plaxo, because it means you’ll be able to automatically stay in touch with more and more of your friends and colleagues. To make it even easier, you can now get connected with fellow Plaxo members in your address book if you know their e-mail address or AIM Screen Name (previously you could only get connected by e-mail address). So there will be more people to connect with, more ways to get connected, and more places where your contact information follows you around and is always up-to-date.
Plaxo-enabling AIM is also a great step forward in our goal of giving users access to their data in whatever application they use. Just like our IE toolbar and Thunderbird toolbar, the new AIM provides another group of users with the ability to build and maintain a universal address book where they need it most, and it extends the reach and value of everyone that uses Plaxo as part of another app. And just like with all our toolbars, users of the new AIM also get web access to their contacts via Plaxo Online, so you can always look up someone’s info while you’re on the go.
Here are some of the features you’ll notice when you download Triton:
- Triton setup wizard. You can create work and home cards to share with your contacts (including our new, more powerful sharing options), build a universal address book by importing your existing contacts from Outlook, Outlook Express, Hotmail, and Yahoo!, and build your Buddy List by finding all your contacts that have an AIM Screen Name. If you’re already a Plaxo member, you can just attach Triton to your existing account, and it will sync your Plaxo address book with Triton.
- Build your Buddy List. This is a really useful feature, especially for people that maintain an address book outside of AIM. Plaxo will look at all the contacts in your address book that have Screen Names (either that you’ve entered or that you’ve received from fellow Plaxo members) and we’ll also look up all AIM members whose Screen Name is linked to an e-mail in your address book. You’ll be surprised how many people you know are on AIM but that you didn’t have in your Buddy List! You can then choose which of those contacts you want to add to your AIM Buddy List. If you’re an existing Plaxo member, you can still run the build Buddy List wizard by launching it from the Edit menu (after you’ve successfully synced your address book the first time).
- Integrated Triton UI. Once you get up and running with Triton, you’ll notice that in addition to your Buddy List, you also have an “Addresses” tab that reveals your Plaxo-enabled address book. Here you can look up extra contact info for your buddies and even choose what info you want to share with them. You’ll also notice the familiar Plaxo icons in the address list for contacts that are also using Plaxo or that you’ve sent an update request to. You can also edit your Plaxo cards from within Triton by going to Edit → Edit My Contact Info.
- AIM enhancements for Outlook. In addition to the new AIM itself, Triton comes with an optional update to the Plaxo Toolbar for Outlook and Outlook Express. In addition to keeping your Outlook and AIM address books in sync, the primary benefit you’ll notice is AIM presence inside Outlook. Click on the AIM status icon next to the From: in any e-mail you receive and you can IM the person, look up their contact info, and more.
- AIM enhancements for Plaxo Online. We’ve also added several AIM-friendly features to our online address book. First off, you can now sign in using your AIM Screen Name, as well as any of your e-mail addresses. Of course, you first have to add your Screen Name to your Plaxo cards (for Triton users, this should happen automatically).
- AIM Mail and AOL Mail. AIM Mail is the new free e-mail service available to all AIM users. When you link you Plaxo account to Triton you Plaxo address book is synced with your AIM Mail or AOL Mail address book. If you use Plaxo with Outlook, Outlook Express, or Thunderbird changes you make in those address books and synced with your AIM mail or AOL mail address book; one Universal Address Book!
We hope everyone will find the Plaxo integration in the new AIM to be useful and fun. As you’ll see, Triton greatly expands the number of ways you can stay in contact with your friends and colleagues (im, email, voice, video, etc.) and Plaxo provides you with the contact info you need to take advantage of these new features.
As usual, send us feedback and stay tuned for more to come!
The Plaxo Team