Professional social networking giant LinkedIn has reportedly paid an "early teens" of million dollars to buy out the startup company Rapportive, according to AllThingsD.
Rapportive has been a very popular browser plugin that enhances the features of GMail and lets the users view various extraneous but useful information about the person they are interacting with. For example, the browser plugin populates the right side of GMail with details like past emails, updates from various social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook & LinkedIn, and even previous phone calls and chats done with the contact.
Rapportive had been the first in the market to come up with a plugin like this. The popularity of the plugin grew big enough that Google themselves came up with a very similar implementation, christened as "People Widget". Rather getting offended for being blatantly copied, Rapportive went ahead and implemented the People Widget too on their plugin.
What LinkedIn plans to do with Rapportive remains to be seen. It is worth noting that LinkedIn had also bought another similar contact management start-up called Connected, last fall.
Here's a video showcasing the Rapportive plugin -