Research In Motion Feb. 14 confirmed it has acquired contact management provider Gist for an undisclosed sum. The buy will help RIM boost its BlackBerry handset software.
Research In Motion Feb. 14 said it has acquired Gist to
help improve contact management on its popular BlackBerry smartphones.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
in 2008 as a free Web application that managed personal and
professional contacts from Microsoft Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Facebook, Twitter,
LinkedIn and Salesforce.com, among other sources.
Specifically, Gist aggregates the network information in
users' e-mail inboxes, analyzes the contacts, then ranks and prioritizes the
importance of contacts based on the frequency and timing of messaging
interaction with the Gist user. Gist's goal is to help users cut through the
clutter of contacts scattered across their Web services.
Even as Gist expanded
its client coverage to include Facebook activity streams, it became
clear the company's technology clearly lent itself to being integrated into a
full messaging client, part of a trend toward social aggregation of e-mail inboxes kicked off by Xobni and others.
Now, it looks as though Gist will do this for RIM's
"We're excited that the Gist team is joining RIM and
bringing their expertise in providing customers with a contextualized,
streamlined and consolidated view of information about their contacts to the
BlackBerry platform," said Alan Brenner, senior vice president of BlackBerry
Platform at RIM, in a brief blog post
RIM can certainly use the shot of mobile messaging chops,
as the company's newer phones lacked some of the sophisticated social tools
offered by apps on Apple's iPhone and Google's Android handsets.
While still the leading U.S. smartphone maker, RIM
suffered a tough 2010 in which the iPhone and Android smartphones captured
than 50 percent of the smartphone sales in the country.
"We are extremely excited about our future at RIM
and how Gist will be used by millions of BlackBerry users around the globe,"
Gist added in its own blog post
Gist said users will be able to continue using its contact
management service for the time being.
RIM was closing on Gist last December.