The fast growth of social networking services in the recent past have made them indispensable for people who always want to stay in touch with other. Web based email services like Gmail and Hotmail have long made it possible to chat with others right from the email homepages. Accessing your favorite social networking services can convert your email service into a one stop communication point.

PowerInbox is an extension for all the popular browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer which makes it possible to access social networks with their email services . The extension is developed by an an email platform company called Power Inbox which focuses on developing interactive email apps for consumers and marketers.

You can install PowerInbox by visiting the Google Chrome Web Store (link) if you use Chrome browser or by downloading the extension directly from the company’s website (for other browsers). Once the extension is installed, you will see Power Inbox drop down menu on the top of the browser just below the address bar. Click on the menu and select the ‘Sidebar’ option. A side bar will open displaying the list of supported social networking services. You need to authorize the social networking services that you want to use in your email service.

I have tried accessing Facebook and Groupon in my Gmail account and it worked smoothly. Facebook timeline with the recent posts was visible on the sidebar and posting new posts too was very simple. ┬áDeals from Groupon were listed in detail which makes it almost unnecessary to visit their website. The side bar can be minimized or closed temporarily just like any other window.┬áChecking on the ‘Inbox Icons’ item in the Power Inbox drop down menu will display Power Inbox’s logo before the emails received from the service. This makes it easy to differentiate the emails received from the service from the rest.

The extension supports a plethora of services. Some of the popular social networking services which are supported by the extension are:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • Flickr
  • Hulu
  • YouTube
  • Instagram
  • Groupon
  • Tumblr
  • Vimeo

Power Inbox is now compatible with Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, and Outlook.com. The company’s website says that more email services will be supported soon.

Power Inbox is a very innovative extension which just increases the utility of your email service. Give it a try if you don’t like toggling between tabs to check updates on your social networking sites and if you are not annoyed of seeing your social networking content in your email (remember Google Buzz).