Free your Facebook Contacts with Friends to Gmail



connection (Photo credit: rent-a-moose)


Over the years, the big social networks Facebook and Twitter have quietly removed your ability to export your contacts out of their systems. They do this to trap you on their service and make you feel like you’d lose all your friends if you left. If that sounds codependent and unhealthy to you, I’d say you’re absolutely right.


You made your list of friends– why should a social network get to keep them from you?


Unlike these services, Google lets you import and export your contacts in an open, interoperable format that is fully under your control. Many other email services also use these simple CSV or XML based formats to let you take your contacts wherever you want to be.


I found this great app called Friends to GMail that will help you free your Facebook contacts and export them into a CSV format that Gmail can ingest. You can just sign into it with your Facebook ID, download a copy of your data in CSV format, and import that into Gmail contacts.

This is a great option if you’d like to be sure you’ve got your Facebook friends’ email addresses, birthdays, and phone numbers in a format you can always move to a different service.

I did this right when Google+ came out, and it really helped me find who among my friends was using the new service.


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Written by

Ted Curran is a Learning Experience Designer/Developer for Autodesk. He is committed to empowering educators and learners to create transformational change through effective pedagogy and technology integration. You can follow Ted on Mastodon, LinkedIn or learn more at my 'About" page. These thoughts are my own.

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