Facebook blocks app that exports contacts into Google+

5 Jul 2011

Facebook is understood to have blocked Facebook Friend Exporter, a Chrome-based app that enables users to import their Facebook contacts into Google+.

Google’s Plus+ was launched last week and its arrival has been positively greeted in terms of its slick software and smooth uptake.

The extension, created by Mohamed Mansour, lets users grab all the information about their Facebook friends and import them elsewhere as a .csv file.

The app, which was launched last November, suddenly saw an upsurge in popularity as soon as Google+ users tried to transfer their Facebook friends’ details to their new Google+ pages.

So far 17,000 people are using the extension.

However, Mansour alleges that Facebook is blocking the app and preventing users from seeing emails that allow them to keep their lists up to date.

CNET reported yesterday that the Facebook Friend Exporter actually violates Section 3.2 of Facebook’s terms of service, which prohibits users from collecting users’ content or information using automated means such as bots, robots, spiders or scrapers without the company’s permission.

In a critical update on the Chrome Web Store, Mansour wrote: “Facebook is trying so hard to not allow you to export your friends. They started to remove emails of your friends from your profile by today July 5th 2011. It will no longer work for many people.

“New version with a different design is currently deploying. You might have to do exports daily. It uses a different approach, and I will maintain this version. Just bear with me,” he said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years