Google has announced a new feature in Gmail called People Widget and will begin to roll out the new feature sometime next week. People Widget is a sidebar widget placed at the right of email messages that provides information about the people you’re interacting with in Gmail.
Rapportive, a browser addon, that provides information about the sender of the email. Rapportive includes social data from sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Following the same path, Google introduced People Widget, but without having to install an addon. Unlike Rapportive, People Widget is only limited to Google services like Google Buzz, Google Docs and Google Calendar. You can also chat with individuals, start a group chat or schedule a meeting with groups of people.
Rapportive and People Widget offer similar functionality, but the difference is that People Widget does not include social media information and you don’t have to install a new plugin (Information will just start appearing for Gmail users over the next couple of weeks)