After Google hired the Facebook app developer (it was “frustrating”, claims Zuckerberg), their relationship has now soured even more, as Google’s changed their terms of service so Gmail users can’t import their contacts to Facebook – because Facebook doesn’t reciprocate.
This small change to the terms of service will mean that Facebook can no longer use Google’s Contacts API, unless it reciprocates and allows Facebook contacts to be exported the other way.
I’m sure Gmail users reading this will remember how easy it was finding friends on Facebook, simply by typing in their email and password and allowing a scan of their addresses. Google told TechCrunch that:
“We have decided to change our approach slightly to reflect the fact that users often aren’t aware that once they have imported their contacts into sites like Facebook they are effectively trapped. Google users will still be free to export their contacts from our products to their computers in an open, machine-readable format–and once they have done that they can then import those contacts into any service they choose. However, we will no longer allow websites to automate the import of users’ Google Contacts (via our API) unless they allow similar export to other sites.”
It’d be a shame if this handy tool disappeared for Gmail users, but I do admire Google’s stubbornness here. Hopefully their tough stance will work for them better than their attempt at getting China to stop web censorship ever did. [TechCrunch]