Cobook, a contacts management app, iPhone and Mac OS X, has launched its service online today via Cobook Livecards, a new feature introduced in March that offers up-to-date digital business cards tied to users’ Facebook accounts.

The browser-based service is designed to be “complementary” to the iPhone app – which already competes with the likes of Addappt and Cardcloud – although technically it’s possible for anyone with a Facebook account to register and use the service.

Users can head over to the Cobook website and sign-in using their existing account credentials, or setup a new account with any email address. The interface has a similar aesthetic to the iPhone app, although the layout has been shuffled around somewhat to take advantage of the increased real-estate.

The home screen ask users to find new contacts via their Facebook account. The downside is that the service only works with other users who have signed up for the service and activated the Cobook Livecard feature – otherwise you’ll just be greeted with a blank screen like this:

cobook 730x402 Cobook launches Livecards on the Web, an alternative to business cards that updates automatically

The mobile app allows users to invite other people to the service, although it’s a shame that you have to bombard your friends, family and colleagues to take full advantage of the service.

As with the iOS app, the advantage of Cobook Livecards is that they will update automatically as soon as the owner makes any changes. It means that provided every user keeps their digital business card up-to-date, the Cobook database should do too.

That’s a massive advantage, as it side-steps the problem of having to manually check and update profile pages and contact information by hand.

At this point, it’s unlikely that Cobook Livecards will replace the default contacts service anytime soon. The feature is yet to be introduced to the original Mac app, which sits in the OS X menubar, and only features a handful of the data fields supported in the full version.

The ability to manually create contacts information is also a great fall-back feature, and it would be a shame if Cobook ever removed this functionality. Cobook Livecards is a neat idea, but its reliance on Facebook – and adoption by other users – continues to hold it back.

➤ Cobook | Web

Image Credit: HOANG DINH NAM/AFP/Getty Images