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AOL acquires email prioritization app Unblab

Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Unblab‘s email application was designed to help people solve the problem of email overload. Similar to Gmail’s Priority Inbox, Unblab’s Gtriage allowed users to view the most relevant emails coming to their inbox.  Acquisition seemed inevitable after reding the last message posted on the company’s blog on September 1st, the same day Gmail Priority Inbox was launched.

The company writes in that post, “Priority Inbox has the advantage of being directly tied in with Gmail. Since all of Gtriage’s current and prospective users are Gmail users, this puts a small bump in the current plan. Over the next few days we’ll be revising that plan and we’ll keep you posted.”

It is now known that shortly after that post, Unblab approached AOL which has been working on a new email client, Project Phoenix. A deal was struck and Eli Holder, company founder and lone full-time employee of Unblab, will be joining AOL’s mail team to work on Project Phoenix as a project manager.

This acquisition comes on the heels of AOL recently acquiring a slew of other companies, including TechCrunch, Things Labs and 5min. The ailing media giant has been desperately looking to revamp its image and is hoping that bringing in new innovation will help with their overall strategy.

In the meantime, Gtriage has been taken offline, while Eli works to integrate his work into AOL’s new email client. There’s a lot of positive buzz floating around regarding Project Phoenix. The new email client allegedly brings a streamlined and uncluttered feel to the inbox, allowing users to text, email, update status and IM from a “quick bar”. Sign up for to receive an invite to Phoenix and let us know what you think!

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Laura Khalil
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Laura is a tech reporter for Digital Trends, the editor of Dorkbyte and a science blogger for PBS. She's been named one of…
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Do you have a Google+ account? Even if you don't use it regularly (WHO DOES!?) many Gmail users have, at some point or another, signed up for Google+, Google's good-looking but depressingly empty social network. 
Like a frustrated mother who makes her toddler eat all of the pea-flavored baby food even though pea-flavored baby food is clearly objectively disgusting, Google is on a mission to force-feed users Google+, and to this end Google announced a new email feature on its product blog that integrates Google+ and Gmail further. 

With this new integration, Gmail users can send an email to someone through Google+, even if they don't know that person's actual email address.
Users who do not want people to have the ability to email them via Google+ will have to opt out by going to their Google+ account and changing the settings. The default setting allows anyone on Google+ to email you, so it's designed to open up this feature to as many people as possible. Now, the people who choose to email you through Google+ won't see your real email address unless you reply to them, but still... couldn't they keep bothering you repeatedly through this Google+ system? Why would they even need your real email if they can just fill your invoice via Google+? It's not a very good system. 
Google is framing this change as service to users, a way to allow people to communicate with each other more easily, but this doesn't really confer many benefits to users, and the default is invasive. For everyone one person who uses the feature to get in touch with an old friend they lost contact with but whom they've randomly tracked down on Google+, there's going to be a hundred spammy/creepy emails. But as long as people are using Google+ to send those spammy/creepy emails, it's a win for Google.
Stuff like this makes me despair that Marissa Mayer hasn't figured out a way to make Yahoo suck less, because no matter how many abuses it heaps upon us, Gmail is still the best basic, big email provider out there. 
h/t The Verge 

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Some digital digging by TechCrunch has revealed that personalized @instagram email addresses could be on the roadmap for the photo sharing service. Instagram is rumored to be working on an instant messaging platform to take on the likes of Whatsapp and Kik, and the new email boxes could be part of that strategy.
Hints of a new email handle were sent to TechCrunch by a marketing and e-commerce company. The addresses appeared as part of a database search, though their validity hasn't been confirmed. Instagram itself has made no comment on any future plans for adding instant messaging or email to its apps.
As we've previously reported, GigaOm's Om Malik has written that "well-placed sources" suggest Instagram is working on an instant messaging component. This would of course follow the lead of Instagram's owner, Facebook, which has its own chat service and accompanying email addresses for users.
According to Malik, the next significant release of Instagram could be out before the end of the year — just in time to catch the millions of users unwrapping new smartphones and tablets they've been given for Christmas. If these users can message each other through Instagram, then they may not bother installing WhatsApp.
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Facebook is not the only social network aware of the power of mobile technology. In an event this week, LinkedIn announced a slew of brand-new initiatives that will push the job hunting site's mobile efforts forward. This includes something the company calls LinkedIn Intro, which is exactly what it sounds like, but for iPhones.
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To get LinkedIn Intro to work, visit the website and follow the initial setup steps. Then you will be able to see a more enriched sender profile on the emails that you receive.

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