Facebook has already hinted at an “awesome” launch this week to drag the attention back from Google+, but in the meantime it looks like the social network is experimenting with ways to make exporting Facebook friends to the new rival more difficult. Facebook Friend Exporter, a Chrome extension many had been using to extract emails of those you’re linked with on the service, making adding them to Google+ more straightforward, has been blocked, seemingly under a freshly-enforced section of Facebook’s TOS that bans automated data harvesting.
The tool was developed by Mohamed Mansour, who spotted that Facebook had begun to remove friends’ email addresses from users’ profiles so that the exporter extension would no longer work. “Facebook is trying so hard to not allow you to export your friends” he announced, “they started to remove emails of your friends from your profile by today July 5th 2011. It will no longer work for many people.”
An updated build of the tool is apparently on the way, using a different tactic. “New version with a different design is currently deploying” Mansour says, though warns that users “might have to do exports daily. It uses a different approach, and I will maintain this version. Just bear with me.”
It’s not the first time the two companies have frustrated users in their jostling for pole position. Back in February, Google stripped the Facebook contacts sync support from the Nexus S, claiming that as Facebook wouldn’t allow the entries to be exported, their inclusion “created a false sense of data portability.” Meanwhile, Apple opted for Twitter over Facebook when it came to deep iOS 5 integration.