Plaxo to take on MySpace, Facebook

First Plaxo enabled you to keep friends and colleagues' contacts up-to-date. Now it's getting into social networks

Plaxo is jumping on the social networking bandwagon with a revised version of its address book synchronisation program. Plaxo 3.0 now enables connected users to see what websites their contacts are looking at - and to have their own web habits examined by the people they know.

The social networking side - known as Plaxo Pulse - uses RSS to collect photos, blog posts, Amazon wish lists and more from your friends who have decided to share their personal contact information.

"The most important things happening right now on the Web are about people's relationships with other people," chief executive Ben Golub said in an interview. "There is no reason to segment your relationships with others based on which applications you use."

The Switzerland of synchronisation

Until now Plaxo has been a dry, but dull web sync service that enables you to keep your address book on your Mac or PC up to date.

"We tackled the hard problem of making synchronization that just works," says Plaxo CEO Ben Golub. "Our role in this is to be the Switzerland of personal information."

Plaxo works by connecting you with contacts online. It then keeps the details you hold on them current by automatically updating your contact book every time they change. It works with Microsoft Outlook, Google, Yahoo, Mozilla Thunderbird and Apple Mail, as well as on many mobile phones.