Well look what we have here … Last time we checked in on the Facebook/Google slapfight, Facebook had removed the option to import your contacts from Gmail and was still holding strong on the whole “denying contact info access to Google” rigamarole that started the fight in the first place. Up until now many had no other choice but to use Yahoo Mail if they wanted to mass export their Friends data from Facebook into Google. Well Happy Thanksgiving data reciprocity fans! A third party developer has decided to build “Facebook Doesn’t Own My Friends,” a Chrome extension that lets you easily export your Facebook Friends’ contact information.
Whoever built this is pretty vehement about whose side they’re playing on. Take a look at the sarcastic tone of the “About” description.
“Despite what Facebook says, if someone is your “friend” and you can see his/her email address on his/her Facebook info, they are probably OK with you emailing them.
Facebook doesn’t let you export this data, so they expect you to click on each of your friends’ pages, copy their email address (or other contact information), and paste it into your email client. Kind of ridiculous? Yes.”
I just tried it and it works, scraping and exporting your contacts into both Gmail and CSV files even though it might take awhile and multiple tries if you’ve got hundreds of friends. And while the extension is not officially affiliated with Google (or Facebook), it going to be exciting to see what happens to it after this post.
Since this is a Chrome extension it might be harder for Facebook to block, as browser extensions can make scraping seem indistinguishable from actual users clicking in their browsers. It looks like the Berlin Wall of data portability has started to crumble, so hurry up and export those Friends contacts while you still can.
Update: No confirmation on whether this is an intentional block from Facebook’s side but users are reporting that the extension stopped scraping about 10 minutes after this post went up. I’ve contacted both Facebook and Google for more information and will update the post if I hear back.