• http://www.tcampbell.net T Campbell

    I love it when Danny puts a little emotion into it.

  • blakeross

    You’re wrong.

    Facebook does, of course, allow you to export unique identifiers and URLs for your friends. How else would Facebook Connect work? How would Yelp show you which restaurants your friends are reviewing if Facebook only exposed the text “Danny Sullivan”?

    Your “friend list” is accessible via the graph API: https://graph.facebook.com/me/friends?access_token=2227470867|2.GA9SJr4iR1DRzzNz8CCASw__.3600.1289358000-205733|TUnC6jAM9MO3KN9V0ZKdgvh4ZpU

    You can access your friends’ urls by plugging in their ID: http://facebook.com/profile.php?id=

  • http://phillipmalone.com mollyfud

    I know this first point isn’t the full issue,but as Facebook have showed that Googles openess (allowing you to download your contacts to a file) could get around the API limitation, Google should point out (as you have) that you can still import into Yahoo Mail and that then opens up the opportunity to then import those contacts into gmail. Not as easy as it should be but works!

    Your points about openess are well made. I disagree that much blame should go to Google. They didn’t start the war they are just trying to open things up for all of us! It was a pretty minor road block that they put in front of Facebook and (I am no Open Source expert but) isn’t it a bit in the Open Source manor of share your stuff as we share ours.

    I hope Facebook pull there finger out of their rears and just do the right thing!


  • http://www.eryckdzotsi.com Eryck Dzotsi

    Well Google has also stopped the direct export of contacts from Google to Facebook. And to counter that move, Facebook is linking the Google contact export feature and directing people as to how to do the basic Extract-Load of the data without using the API.

    This little war over data and information is a double-edged sword in that it would be similar to a nuclear supremacy race. The two camps and their allies Team Google vs Team Facebook will go through rapid upgrades and developments, each time upping the other. The “my data is bigger than yours” will push the two to have to reach a consensus at some point or another. The users benefit from this in that they will be getting more and more relevant and personalized experience. On the flip side, it creates marketing nightmares especially in the organic realms.

    Broad targeting and pull efforts will continue at a faster (dramatically faster ) pace to be substituted by smaller, and more customized campaigns. The analytical and campaign management tools will have to keep up with the power aforementioned. There are exciting times ahead.

  • http://phillipmalone.com mollyfud

    It could be argued that Facebook have stopped the “direct export of contacts from Google to Facebook” because they are unwilling to comply with the requirement to be consistent with there export rules (one for Yahoo/MS and a different one for Google).

    I don’t see Google shutting off the the export of the gmail contacts to file because Google believe its as important to let your uses get there data out as it is for them to be able to put it in. Facebook don’t have the same mantra!

    I like both services/companies, I just want them to fix this issue!

  • blakeross

    I guess only positive comments are allowed on this blog. So much for openness.

  • http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    No, Blake, it’s nit just that positive comments are allowed. It’s that you included 2 URLs that triggered the spam filter. Happens often with blog commenting software. I found it and released it from where it was held, after I saw your comment.

    Yes, you can use Facebook connect to one-by-one pull your friend information. Try to use it en masse, and you might be subject to Facebook’s terms, as I’ve described.

    But more specifically, Facebook provided an export tool that gave the appearance of allowing any user control over taking their data out of Facebook. As I explained, that tool doesn’t let you take your “friends” out other than a plain text list of names.

    Moreover, the statement that it cannot allow the export of email addresses simply doesn’t hold up when, as I also explained, it totally allows this for Yahoo and Microsoft.

    If Facebook doesn’t want to let people export their contacts to Google because it simply doesn’t trust Google or wants some type of business relationship, I get that. But then say that. Don’t say email export simply isn’t allowed when it’s obvious that it is, whenever Facebook so chooses.

  • http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    Molly, correct – you could export into Yahoo or Microsoft and use that as a channel to Google. Maybe Google will push that as a solution.

    Erick, Google has stopped the automated export of contacts into Facebook. But unlike Facebook, Google is still supporting the notion that your contacts are yours to take wherever you like. In terms of the arms race, I suppose the good news is that I don’t see Google preventing exports period from happening. They’ve pledged too loudly that your data should be portable to back away from that.

  • http://searchmarketingcommunications.com Tim Cohn

    I guess expunging Facebook’s 2,060,000,000 results from Google’s index is out of the question.


  • http://www.sharpseo.com Adam Sharp

    Taking Microsoft’s cash may prove to be a very short-sighted mistake for FB, in the not-too-distant future. It’s like marrying into a wealthy but bat-ass crazy family. There are a few pluses ($$), but the negatives will pile up over time. Pretty soon, Ballmer is calling at 3:30 in the morning with a crackpot idea about doing a free print version of Facebook (like the Yellowpages) to “juice up the web hits, baby”. It won’t end well.

  • http://www.antezeta.com/blog/ Sean Carlos

    I was unable to get the export to Yahoo to actually work (0 contacts exported, a seemingly common problem), but Facebook does currently export to gmx.com – and that seems to work fine. GMX users can then export their data in csv and vcard formats.