Google currently lets other applications like Facebook access your Google contacts (with your permission) to help you find friends on other services. This makes it easy to find friends who are already using a new service you sign up for.
But an update to the terms of service for Google’s Contacts API stipulates that any app that uses it must be equally open with its own contacts.
Facebook keeps its user graph — its most valuable asset — to itself. Unless it changes that policy, which seems extremely unlikely, it won’t be allowed to use the API. Which means new users won’t be able to import Google Contacts into Facebook automatically.
It makes a lot of sense for Google to demand this sort of reciprocity, but this strikes us a too little, too late. Facebook has built an extremely valuable graph of friendship connections. Google contacts are vastly less interesting or useful.
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