The Chrome Extension for Latent's Email Discovery Tool will be pushed out in a week or so on the Chrome Web Store.
Why did Latent choose to build a Chrome Extension for EDT?
1) Mainly to significantly improve the user's experience, easy to utilize the app to access business emails of anyone, as the user browses through the web.
2) Leverage on Google Chrome's extensive distribution channels.
Users dislike having an additional app to download, install, log in and integrate with their existing business processes stack. Contrast this with a lightweight icon and the top right of your existing browser. Keep it simple and streamlined.
The extension store is an existing established distribution channel. Chrome has 67% of the browser market share worldwide (2018) and almost everyone has the Chrome browser installed on their devices, or as a secondary browser. Extensions are a plug and play program, easily downloaded from the app store with no dependencies. Everyone can get started on it quickly.
Chrome extensions can be really powerful in automating online browsing activities. It interacts elegantly with the user's info and browsing content. The future possibilities of what can be done in the B2B productivity space is huge.
Ther are some startups that have achieved success by primarily building on the Chrome Extension platform. LastPass is a great example - it integrates with your login fields. ShopBack is another good Singapore startup example - it reminds the user to authenticate through ShopBack if the browsing site is eligible for ShopBack cashback. Honey is a Los Angeles startup that operates in a similar space - it aggregates and automatically applies coupons code on eligible sites. See the trend, it's an obvious win to the consumer in terms of convenience and the business earns through a fair SaaS fee or indirectly.
From a development perspective, there are some difficulties and challenges in building an extension. One of the crucial things is to understand the Chrome APIs and this starts with reading the documentation on what can and cannot be done. It can be foreign to some as this is a new framework compared to the other apps. Google imposes quite a robust content security policy framework, so the developer needs to know which policies to enable the connections to go through. For a startup with a Chrome extension and existing web app, the 2 platforms need to be integrated, especially authentication and account to ensure a seamless experience. Also, it can be tricky linking it up to React Developer Tool and Redux as the method used is different from the conventional way.