Google announced that the firm is blocking Facebook from gathering contacts from the firm’s Gmail email service because Facebook doesn’t allow similar exporting of contacts of the social networking giant’s 500 million users.
Previously a new Facebook user was able to gather contacts from Google’s API which Facebook would cross reference with existing users allowing Facebook users to quickly grow their networking of friends. Google allowing such use has also been credited with allowing Facebook to grow to critical mass in the first place.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt had earlier indicated that the company hoped to gain access to Facebook contact lists but without any sign of Facebook moving to allow ‘reciprocal’ sharing, Google changed its strategy and would only allow sharing of contact information with services which demonstrate “reciprocity” by allowing such an exchange.
The company pointed out that it’s possible to save contacts manually and import them into Facebook but added that it hoped the policy change would “encourage other websites to allow users to automate the export of their contacts.”
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