At launch, PowerInbox includes email applications for Facebook, Twitter and Groupon. Each application brings with it the ability to view and participate with site content from inside the email message. PowerInbox lets email users run applications inside Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo Mail or Outlook. The startup has also announced that it has raised $1.1 million in a funding round led by Atlas Venture.
“Email hasn’t really changed in its last 40 years of existence,” PowerInbox founder and CEO Matt Thazhmon states “Looking ten years in the future, I’ll put money on it, email will still have Reply, ReplyAll and Forward, but next to those buttons, you will see an edit button and an app store button … This is the future of email that we are working hard towards and our launch today is the first step towards making this vision a reality.”
Stock notification emails come to life with the PowerInbox browser extension installed. A Groupon deal email includes a live countdown on time left to buy, and indicates whether the deal has been sold out. A Facebook notification email displays photos, comments and Likes, and allows the user to comment from inside the message. A Twitter follower notification lets you follow back, tweet inside the message and view the person’s recent tweet.
Developers are also encouraged to build their own email applications, and Thazhmon says that startup is fielding a lot of interest from the developer community. It will be interesting to follow the launch of this application and just how many social media functions can be integrated within an email account.