Most large companies have employee directories on their intranet, and most of them have two things in common: the database entries are typically out of date, and the subpar search functionality  justsucks. Professional social network LinkedIn hopes its new Lookup app, launching today, will solve this problem – allowing you to search for people in your own company even if you’re not connected to them on LinkedIn.

Its primary selling-point is that it lets you search by skill or area of expertise, to help make contact with co-workers who might be able to help out with a project … 

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LinkedIn Lookup- the perfect tool for quickly connecting with coworkers who might otherwise be hard to find, uncovering hidden resources, and improving information sharing.

Looking for someone with a specific skill set or job responsibility? Search by name, title, skill, expertise, or something about what they do.

In addition to the info already available on their LinkedIn profiles, the app will also show you contact data available only to coworkers, as well as allowing you to message within the app without using up InMail credits. The contact info will only be available when the employee uses the app and has chosen to enter it, so the usefulness of this function will depend on how many people adopt the app.

Microsoft added support for a LinkedIn plugin to its Office productivity apps back in April, using an iPhone and iPad to demo the new functionality at its developer conference.

The Lookup app is iOS-only at launch, but an Android version will likely follow soon if it takes off (and may be necessary for the whole thing to work). The app is a free download on iTunes.

Via TNW

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