Open-Xchange releases a tool to export Facebook contact info

After Facebook successfully blocked a Chrome extension from importing your Facebook contacts into Google+, many were ready to give up on the idea of Facebook giving you the freedom to easily take your information elsewhere. There is one option, in the form of Yahoo! contacts. You can create a new Yahoo! account, import your contacts from Facebook, and then export those to a CSV file. Google+ can then accept that file as a bunch of contacts. It’s not pretty, and it definitely won’t sit well with users who aren’t tech-savvy.

Open-Xchange, a productivity company that specializes in open-source products for email and collaboration efficiency, has released a product that may make this process a lot easier. According to Cnet, CEO Rafael Laguna is not a fan of Facebook’s aversion to what Google calls Data Liberation.

"The cloud needs to be open--just as source code and data protocols needed to be open to create the Internet. With more and more data moving into and being created inside the cloud, this data needs to be owned by the creators, not the services." 

Google has been pushing the idea of “freedom to escape” for a while now, and a team at Google, the Data Liberation Front, has been tasked to make sure that people can export all their data from Google’s services wherever and whenever possible.

Open-Xchange released a tool today called Social OX, a way to manage all your contact information from various social networks in one central address book. Laguna explains,

"We use the APIs from the social and business networks to create address books for each of them. Then we enhance this data with the contacts we can harvest from your e-mail accounts made available to your Open-Xchange user. This data from all your networks and address books and all contacts from your emails is then merged into your 'magic' address book...Import to your liking, in Apple iCal, Gmail/G+, Facebook, Outlook, whatever you like."

Facebook hasn’t responded to this attempt at “liberation”, but if all Social OX is doing is using sanctioned API calls to gather data, it doesn’t seem like there would be much Facebook could do about it.

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15 Comments

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True, it downloads the whole profile, if something is able to extract the contacts out of it, its done. Oh well, let's see what Mark says now.

Facebook have the "Download your information" function. Google should write something that processes that and imports your contacts / photos etc into Google+.

Jedimark said,
Facebook have the "Download your information" function. Google should write something that processes that and imports your contacts / photos etc into Google+.

I don't think the download include your contact.
There's already a service to transfert your photos to Google+

Jedimark said,
Facebook have the "Download your information" function. Google should write something that processes that and imports your contacts / photos etc into Google+.

I don't think it has enough information. I was rather disappointed on how poor the content of the archive download was.

Why did so many feel the need to join facebook and STAY there when they hate it so much? Is it too much to go back to other means of communicating with others, like email, texts and even phone calls?

efjay said,
Why did so many feel the need to join facebook and STAY there when they hate it so much? Is it too much to go back to other means of communicating with others, like email, texts and even phone calls?

They do not hate it , but like to have the option to swithc to another services.
Like you don't like the idea to recreate all your email contact every time you change your email address.
there's a standard csv or vcard to export the import.

but if all Social OX is doing is using sanctioned API calls to gather data, it doesn't seem like there would be much Facebook could do about it.
Well they could close those holes in their API, or change their terms of service.

still1 said,
Mark scared of losing his ground..... The same could happen to Facebook like My space.

I extremely doubt that. People abandoned myspace because of the fact children were given full html access, which allowed 50 youtube videos to fire off at once, and viruses galore.

Phil DeLong said,

I extremely doubt that. People abandoned myspace because of the fact children were given full html access, which allowed 50 youtube videos to fire off at once, and viruses galore.

Honestly I miss being able to customize my profile and make it unique. Don't miss the giant videos and stuff but still miss being able to have a profile song and a different background.

Phil DeLong said,

I extremely doubt that. People abandoned myspace because of the fact children were given full html access, which allowed 50 youtube videos to fire off at once, and viruses galore.


Very true!

SH3K0 said,

Very true!

I HATE CUSTOMIZED PROFILES WITH BLINKING GLITTERS AND COLOR COMBINATIONS THAT HURT THE EYES.

That's the reason why people moved from MySpace or Friendster -- onto Facebook.

RedFlow said,

Honestly I miss being able to customize my profile and make it unique. Don't miss the giant videos and stuff but still miss being able to have a profile song and a different background.


I miss it too, to an extent. I do wish facebook offered some customization, but none whatsoever still seems to be the lesser of two evils.