Google and Facebook battle over contact data – the story so far

November 10th, 2010 | by Gabriel Tataranu

posted in Search

The rivalry between Google and Facebook is quickly heating up.

Last week, in a move widely regarded as an attack on Facebook, Google updated their Terms of Service to the effect that any service accessing Google’s Contacts API would have to reciprocate. What this means is that any service that asks users to import their Google contact list (including email addresses) would have to also allow their users to export this same information to other services. Something that Facebook doesn’t do. While they’ve recently allowed users to export their content, this doesn’t include the email addresses of their Facebook friends, which is not so useful when users are trying to connect with these same friends on new services.

Facebook retaliated by exploiting a Google feature that allows users to download their contact data and making it accessible directly from Facebook.

Google soon responded with a not-so-subtle message that users saw when they tried to download and import their Google contacts via Facebook.

That brings us to today. We’ll have to wait and see how Facebook responds.

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