The Next Web 2010

When The Next Web reviewed Gmail plugin Rapportive for the first time earlier this year, we were impressed. Today at The Next Web PayPal X Startup Rally the company is announcing its next major step.

By way of introduction, Rapportive adds dynamic contact previews to Gmail complete with profile picture, brief bio and links to their various social networking profiles. Part social, part CRM, Rapportive also features a minimalist notes area directly under the social profiles section of the sidebar.

Today at The Next Web Conference the startup is announcing the launch of a developer platform that will allow third parties to insert their products into Rapportive.

Although Rapportive’s core purpose is CRM, these plugins, called ‘Raplets’ can be for any purpose. Rapportive suggests booking and time management, entertainment or internal corporate tools as other uses.

Some of the example Raplets already collected include:

– A BookingBug Raplet for managing bookings easily. “To create a new reservation, all you have to do is select the type of room, the length of the stay, and charge the customer. All without leaving your email.”

– A Raplet allows users to see each others’ activity and mixes whenever they email each other.

Although Rapportive is a Gmail-only service right now, it will be integrating with other email platforms in the near future.