Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

LinkedIn Contacts: 5 Must-Know Facts

8 LinkedIn Etiquette Mistakes
8 LinkedIn Etiquette Mistakes

(click image for larger view and for slideshow)

LinkedIn is adding smarts to its contacts tool with the launch of LinkedIn Contacts. The new contact management system, which comes via LinkedIn's 2011 acquisition of Connected, enables users to integrate LinkedIn connections with contacts from Microsoft, Google and Yahoo applications, among others. Users can then manage those contacts, adding the potential to build better relationships.
How does this change the way you use LinkedIn? A lot. Here are five things you should know about LinkedIn Contacts.

1. Contacts Are Drawn From Business Sources.

LinkedIn Contacts pulls in data from business-oriented sources such as Microsoft Outlook, including address books, email accounts and calendars.

2. It's Available As A Mobile App.

LinkedIn Contacts is available both from and as an iPhone app, letting you use the new contacts management system on the go.

[ Looking for your next gig? Read 5 LinkedIn Tools Job Hunters Must Use. ]

3. Valuable History Info Provides Context.

Once all of your contacts are integrated, you can see details of past conversations and meetings directly from your contact's profile. You will also see things such as birthdays, new jobs and title changes. You can set reminders and make notes, making it easy to, for example, see at a glance what has gone down in the past between you and that person you have a meeting with this afternoon.

4. LinkedIn Might Soak Up More Of Your Time.

All of this will likely increase the amount of time you spend on LinkedIn. LinkedIn has made several changes recently that have added more Facebook- and Twitter-like functionality to the platform, but LinkedIn still is a site users typically check periodically rather than live on during the course of the day. LinkedIn Contacts has the potential to make the network more social and less stodgy.

5. Service Is Invitation Only.

The new contacts features are invitation only right now. Get on the waitlist.

Does LinkedIn Contacts sound like something that will increase the time you spend on LinkedIn? Please let us know in the comments section below.

Follow Deb Donston-Miller on Twitter at @debdonston.