What is today’s role of Plaxo? Why would one need Plaxo when one has Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Apps, etc.?
In March 2011, Plaxo repositioned our product lines and our focus, introducing new ways of keeping your address book up-to-date. While Plaxo dabbled in the social networking space for a bit, we realized that people don’t need another social network or business network – Facebook and LinkedIn are meeting most people’s needs. As part of our commitment to making your address book as up-to-date and accurate as possible, we remain dedicated to making Plaxo your address book for life.
The challenge that Plaxo set out to solve in 2002, creating an address book that doesn’t go stale after a few months/years, still exists. And as people create address books on other sites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Gmail, as well as on multiple computers and mobile phones, the problem has gotten worse. In addition to one address book getting stale, people now have many address books with different information in them, each getting stale in their own way. People are no longer sure even where to look in order to get someone’s current contact information.
Plaxo has redoubled its efforts to solve this problem. We have improved our address book sync engine so people can more easily keep their address books synced across multiple devices with Plaxo Platinum Sync. We currently sync with Outlook, Mac, iPhones, BlackBerrys, Gmail, Android devices, and many more, with more being added. We also enable you to import your LinkedIn contacts as well as apply Facebook Profile photos to your Plaxo address book–integrating with LinkedIn and Facebook to make your address book even more current and relevant to you. And of course, all of your information is safe and secure online, so if you ever change phones, or get a new computer, you can easily restore all of your important contact information.
In addition, Plaxo has also launched a service called Plaxo Personal Assistant that automatically and proactively provides suggestions and helps keep your address book up-to-date (even if the people in your address book are not Plaxo customers). We provide a more complete picture of your contacts including email address, work phone, home phone, mailing address and IM. This helps you stay in touch and reach out to your network through the channels you are most comfortable with–not just through your social media networks.
So, think of Plaxo as a complement to Facebook and LinkedIn, not us vs. them. Life can be full of complements. You can have your cake AND your ice cream, too.
P.S. Speaking of Facebook, the average Facebook user has 130 friends. Our average address book size at Plaxo is 220 and our active users maintain even larger address books. Pew Internet Research found that the average American has an overall network of 634 social ties. We recognize that there is an opportunity to fill the gap of keeping your address book current and staying connected to those contacts in your address books across multiple places and across multiple devices. In fact, you may may not want to be “friends” with everyone and that’s OK. But, you may still be interested in a person’s contact information even if you aren’t social “friends” with them. Because, you never know when you may want to reach out to that person in the future. Shouldn’t your address book be as relevant and current as possible? That’s our philosophy.