Facebook slams door on Google+ contact exporter


7 Apr 2011
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Though it’s still invite only at this point, Google+ is generating plenty of buzz right now. And one place in particular that buzz is being heard is at Facebook, where the incessant droning is apparently drawing more than a few sneers.

What’s got Zuckerberg and crew in such a tizzy? The mere fact that Google has finally revealed its highly-anticipated social networking platform is sure to be part of it, but there’s also this matter of people exporting contacts.

For a new user on a new social network, few things are as important as being able to quickly invite your friends to the party en masse. Google, of course, didn’t offer a first-party way to hoover Facebook contacts, but Chromium contributor Mohamed Mansour stepped up and modified a Google Chrome extension that he’d previously created. Facebook Friend Exporter quickly skyrocketed in popularity once Mansour added Google+ support, though its rise did not go unnoticed by Facebook.

Acting on section 3.2 of its TOS, Facebook stepped in and shut down Exporter — claiming that it violated data harvesting rules. Facebook does, of course, allow you to perform a bulk export of all your profile data, but it’s a bit of a pain to work with. By quickly tweaking how its mobile site displays your friends’ data to hide email addresses, Mansour’s script was effectively mooted.

Facebook may be returning the favor to some extent. The two companies have a bit of a contact data spat going on — dating back at least as far as November of 2010, when Google shut the door on Facebook Gmail imports.

More at ZD Net and Mohamed Manour on Google+
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