First look: PowerInbox's new email platform makes it more powerful

PowerInbox founder Matt Thazhmon visited me this morning and showed me PowerInbox, a new email platform that enables new apps that do lots of cool things with email.

They turned on this platform this morning. Watch the video to get a sense of what it does.

But it can do a bunch of things with specific types of emails.

1. With social network notifications it can bring Facebook directly into the email so users don’t need to click out to leave a comment, for instance.

2. With enterprise email, it can build collaboration features right into the email, so two users can chat back and forth right from an email, without really sending yet another email that clutters up inboxes.

Downsides? It only works on Chrome today, Outlook and Firefox coming soon, and it requires loading some software on your machine. Doesn’t work on iPads or mobile, unfortunately, at least yet. We cover all that in the interview.

Love the idea behind this. How about you?

Published by

Robert Scoble

As Startup Liaison for Rackspace, the Open Cloud Computing Company, Scoble travels the world looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology for Rackspace's startup program. He's interviewed thousands of executives and technology innovators and reports what he learns in books ("The Age of Context," a book coauthored with Forbes author Shel Israel, has been released at http://amzn.to/AgeOfContext ), YouTube, and many social media sites where he's followed by millions of people. Best place to watch me is on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/RobertScoble

Comments

  1. This is a good way of making email more of a chore rather than keeping it email itself. Don’t get me wrong I love rapportive and Xobni and use them with Gmail and Outlook respectively, but I filter out all my Facebook and Twitter messages to go to archives for a reason.

    If I or many other like-minded people wanted such kind of features they would not filter their emails. Social networking is good but I would rather leave email to be just email. This app is good but will be a fad and fade away.

    For enterprise collaboration we already have Yammer, no need to mix email and social networking.

  2. I like the concept, and fully agree that email is easily the most ‘legacy’ piece of online infrastructure.

    My main reservation with the execution is that this kind of integration is already happening in mobile contexts at the OS level as well as showing strongly in the social media space, so unless PowerInbox is designed to sell to Google, facebook, Microsoft or another such player, it feels like a signpost to the future rather than part of it.

  3. Dynamic content is definitely HOT. Yahoo! Mail, Hotmail and Gmail all have their own disparate dynamic content solutions in the work. Companies like LiveIntent and MovableInk are doing dynamic content for marketers.

    My biggest concern is that there is no real mobile story here. We need the same APIs and extensions to mobile email that we have in the desktop. I’m surprised we’re not seeing more “mobile first” approaches from the big mailbox providers and from startups.

    1. This is interesting stuff Josh. I worry that it’s really hard to change consumer behavior. We made the decision to focus on helping marketers create dynamic email campaigns because there’s a real business in this and it’s possible to reach a vast audience. I applaud anyone though for working to make this ubiquitous communication platform more useful.