Update: SparrowMail 1.2 is now available to download from the Mac App Store.
Upstart Mac mail client Sparrow is to pull in contextual information from Facebook in their upcoming 1.2 release. The Sparrow crew sent 1.2 to Apple for review and they expect it to live in the Mac App store in the next while.
Sparrow introducing Facebook-centric features is an intriguing move. Facebook ramped up their messaging service late last year by rolling out @facebook.com email address and by merging status messages with private messages. However, Sparrow 1.2 will not support @facebook.com email, nor will it allow you to instant chat with your friends.
“We’re not adding social layers to mail for the sake of it,” CEO Dom Leca informed TechCrunch.
So what exactly will 1.2 offer?
You will will be able to use Facebook Connect to pull in avatars of recipients and you will be able to add contacts as Facebook friends from within Sparrow.
Other integrations on the Sparrow roadmap include Tumblr, Twitter, and LinkedIn features. It is likely that future releases of Sparrow will allow you to email your Facebook friends, DM (and maybe even reply) to your Twitter friends, and message contacts / friends on LinkedIn & Tumblr.
While Sparrow is making a genuine attempt to marry email with social communication, it will remain to be seen if this marriage disrupts the simplicity of using Sparrow.
Sparrow’s Facebook and upcoming social features remind me a bit of the popular Gmail add-on Rapportive. Rapportive pulls in images, Linkedin bio, tweets, and links to social profiles of those whom you communicate with in Gmail. A very cool add-on.