Facebook appears to have given up in its spat with Google over importing Gmail contacts.
Earlier this month, Google changed its terms of service and APIs to forbid any company from accessing Google user data unless that company offered reciprocity. The two companies went back and forth several times, with Facebook finding a way around Google’s ban and Google responding with a harsh warning message about Facebook that showed up when users tried to import their data.
When I looked at the import function earlier this week in testing the new Facebook messaging system, Gmail was still offered as an option.
But as TechCrunch first reported today, Gmail is no longer there. Just about every other big e-mail provider, including Microsoft, Yahoo, AOL, Comcast, and SBC, is still available. And when you try to add Gmail through the “Other Email Service” link, it says that everybody on that contact list “is already on Facebook or has already been invited,” which is not true in my case.
This looks to be a late but voluntary move on Facebook’s part to comply with the new terms of service–Google hasn’t changed anything technically. But the error message also sounded a bit like Facebook throwing the gloves down.
Read it again: everybody’s already on Facebook or has already been invited. Indeed.
Facebook needed Gmail data to help users populate their friends lists in the early days, but with 500 million users, half of whom use the site daily, Facebook doesn’t need help from anybody.