Various systems have different representations for user accounts. For example, Evolution Data Server has the user's list of email contacts. Telepathy has the user's list of instant-messaging contacts. Various web services have the user's "friends". Libfolks takes care of aggregating all these forms of contacts so that you can get all the accounts that belong to one person. This lets software present lists of people in a more useful fashion, instead of showing duplicated people whenever they have more than one account associated to them.

In GNOME, Empathy (the instant messaging client) uses Folks to present a unified view of people ("Person X has these IM accounts"), rather than disparate accounts for the same person ("Person X at AIM, Person X at GTalk, Person X at Yahoo! Messenger").