Has LinkedIn Abandoned CardMunch?

Earlier this year, I published a post about CardMunch, an app from LinkedIn that I called “the holy grail of business card apps.” Well, not anymore. It seems that many users, including me, are having trouble with the app consistently hanging and crashing, and no one at LinkedIn seems to be doing anything about it.

When it works, CardMunch acts like a business-card scanner, but with a twist. It uses real humans to read and transcribe the cards you upload. Use the app to snap a photo of a business card and upload. A little while later, you get the transcribed info sent back to your phone. You can manage these contacts within the CardMunch app or add them to your iPhone contacts, where you can sync them with Outlook or another contacts manager.

Lately, however, whenever I try to open a contact in CardMunch, the app just hangs. I get that spinning circle that tells me to wait, but no matter how long I wait, the contact never loads.

Recently, I used CardMunch to scan several business cards I’d collected. It accepted the uploads and returned the transcribed contacts to me quickly. However, I could not open any of them within the CardMunch app.

Fortunately, I discovered a workaround. Even though I could not open the contacts in CardMunch, I could still export them. Within CardMunch, I selected “edit” and checked the names on the list of contacts that I wanted to export. I then hit the button, “Save to iPhone,” and the contacts were all saved in my iPhone contacts.

While this is OK as a workaround, it is unacceptable for an app to not function as it should. I thought maybe the problem was mine alone, until I began searching for a solution. Many CardMunch users are reporting the same problem.

In LinkedIn’s help forums, only one person from LinkedIn has responded to numerous posts. That one person said that he happened to stumble on the thread of complaints, but did not work on Cardmunch and knew nothing about its status. He offered to look into it. A few days later, on Nov. 12, he said he hoped to have an answer by the end of the week. So far, he has posted nothing more and neither has anyone else at LinkedIn.

The CardMunch website shows a copyright date of 2011, suggesting that no one has updated it in two years. Meanwhile, there are still humans somewhere who are transcribing these cards. That suggests that someone must be in charge of CardMunch. Now if only someone there would pay attention to all these user complaints and fix whatever is wrong with the app.

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25 Responses to “Has LinkedIn Abandoned CardMunch?”

  1. Rob says:

    Everyone may want to write to LinkedIn about the issue to make it a more squeaky wheel. Here is LinkedIn’s Customer Service response to me:

    Thanks for reaching out to me today and I’m sorry to hear you’re having problems with our CardMunch app. What you’ve encountered is a known issue and I’m very sorry for the inconvenience. Our engineering team is working on it but there’s no estimate as to how long that might take. We’ll do our best to keep you posted.

    In the meantime, I’ll gladly help if you have any other questions.

    John
    The CardMunch Team

  2. Welp, I chimed in on the squeaky wheel team. I’ve been assessing the alternatives for the last couple of days. And the hanging thing is annoying but I’ll try out the workaround listed above.

    Hey Rob, do you know what John’s last name is?

    -Krys

  3. Rob says:

    Krys,

    Sorry, I don’t know who “John” of “The CardMunch Team” is. Such a generic name with no accountability attached to it in a large organization…

    Rob

  4. Paul Tibbits says:

    Cannot log into CardMunch with my LinkedIn Credentials

  5. Diane says:

    I have encountered the same problem with CardMunch. I wrote to support in on 1/2 and got the same reply:

    Thanks for contacting us about this. What you’ve encountered is a known issue and I’m very sorry for the inconvenience. Our engineering team is working on it but there’s no estimate as to how long that might take. We’ll do our best to keep you posted.

    In the meantime, I’ll gladly help if you have any other questions.

    Justin
    The CardMunch Team

    On 1/8, I got a response saying the problem was fixed. I wrote back and said it is NOT fixed. They said, sorry, we’ll work on it. What a waste of everyone’s time. It is sad, since it is a great app when it works!

  6. cardmunch.com appears now to be a parked domain at GoDaddy.com.

    Not sure what is going on. My CardMunch app has not worked for a week. I think they have walked away from it.

  7. Here is an alternative to CardMunch. It also uses human transcription so it is much more accurate than OCR.

    http://www.fullcontact.com/cardreader/

    An Android version of the app will also be available in the coming weeks as well, something that CardMunch didn’t get around to.

    Disclaimer: I work at FullContact

  8. tina says:

    Another alternative is Evernote, which has the same/similar feature – take a picture of the business card and it populates to your contacts.

    • Doug philbrick says:

      here is the workaround I just tried it and it works perfectly

      -From the Cardmunch app, click signup for linked-in
      -Your web browser will display the signup page
      -Look for the login link- click and log in with your credentials
      -Go back with the card munch app and log in with your credentials

      Amazingly, this worked for me. I hope it works for others too.

  9. […] back. I tried to delete a duplicate entry and my request timed out. I’ve also noticed  others writing and commenting on issues with […]

  10. Mark says:

    I currently use CamCard for my Android S4. Where I saw a colleague tether LinkedIn details and the posted photo, I wanted it. No luck for Android! And Full Contact Card Reader doesn’t access LinkedIn. I like the Sales force link but still find it limited.
    Does anyone else know of any better tools available?

  11. Lee Herrin says:

    I was having the crashing issue (iPhone 4S) and I simply turned my phone off for 30-40 seconds – turned it back on and I am able to use the App again.

  12. […] been a bad couple of weeks for apps that let you share contact information. Recently, I wrote about problems with CardMunch, the LinkedIn app that uses actual humans to read and transcribe business cards you […]

  13. cris says:

    my cardmunch will not file, any suggestions??

  14. Jorel Cook says:

    I like to see how often apps are updated and bugs squashed. This app has not been updated or fixed for over 2.5 YEARS. It’s a very poor way to run your business. If they are abandoning it and moving to their ‘linked in’ app that has the cardmunch features, “then do it already.” In the world of apps unfortunately theres no such guarantee that the app will work forever!

  15. Paul Fallon says:

    The big issue is of course that they need to, at a minimum, give the customers an “out.” At an absolute minimum I’d like a CSV that I can then upload into my contacts so that I haven’t wasted my time taking hundreds of pictures. If they are shutting it down, then do it properly.

  16. Rob Stokes says:

    Jorel,

    > moving to their ‘linked in’ app that has the cardmunch features

    The LinkedIn App has the CardMunch features? I just downloaded it and don’t know where to look to scan a business card. Sorry to ask for Tech Support on Robert’s blog page but where in the app is the ability to scan cards?

    Thanks,
    Rob

  17. Lowell Peabody says:

    This is hardly a disruptive technology. This is precisely why God made computers; to automate the mundane. There are a growing list of programs that will convert a picture of a business card into a contact record for various CRM’s. Sure there may be some mistakes but for the most part regular business cards are done accurately. Linked in has only centralized a human process but when we pull back the curtains we see the real professor..

  18. […] accurately. But the service has languished since being purchased, leading to complaints from users who worried it had been abandoned. “We have some extremely passionate and loyal users of that application,” says Bob […]

  19. Travis Todd says:

    So the answer is yes, they are killing it (officially):

    http://techcrunch.com/2014/05/07/linkedin-gives-up-the-ghost-on-cardmunch-inks-deal-with-evernote-to-migrate-users/

    Migrating users to Evernote likely means OCR for everyone. If you want human transcription, FullContact Card Reader uses human transcription. Next week we are announcing other big news around the app that will address things like inviting to connect on LinkedIn.

    http://www.fullcontact.com/cardreader/

    Disclaimer: I work for FullContact

  20. […] in December, I wrote a post questioning whether LinkedIn had abandoned CardMunch, its business card scanning app that used actual humans to transcribe the cards you scan and then […]

  21. Bill says:

    Rebooted my iPhone and after a while it worked, but got message that they are going out of business in July 2014.

  22. Rob Stokes says:

    I moved over to EverNote’s business card scanner. Short answer for me is: It’s not going to work.

    My issues:
    * Although EverNote’s OCR is better than other card scanners I’ve tested, it’s still OCR and I have to double-check it’s work.
    * It doesn’t read sideways text.
    * CardMunch had more fields like website and job title.
    * Returns in the Notes field of EverNotes do not translate properly from iOS app to Mac Desktop app to EverNote website to email, not in the order.
    * The date which I added a card is important to me. EverNote changes the CardMunch import date to today (or the date of import.) Now I can’t sort on a timeline of meeting people.
    * .vcf files are empty 60% of the time when emailed from iOS app.
    * Addresses are not included in .vcf file when it does work.
    * Last name is put in the first name field when transferring via .vcf.
    * Over all, it takes me 3 TIMES AS LONG as CardMunch and twice as long as just entering the data myself.

    I guess I’ll go try FullContact again.

    Rob

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