Google Drops Facebook Contact Merging From Latest Android Version

Android smart phone owners have been waiting for the Gingerbread, the latest operating system upgrade. Android 2.3 is deploying now and gives users new interface features and better application and power management features. What it won't have is the ability to load contact information for Facebook friends.

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In previous versions, users could pull friend contact information from the Facebook application settings. Google claims they have removed that functionality because Facebook's data is only available by the API connection and is not truly exportable to the device.

Essentially, if you import your Facebook friends to your phone, then stopped using Facebook - or the Android Facebook App, your contacts would be removed from your phone, because they were never actually on your phone. Google called out Facebook has giving "the appearance of integration" that "created a false sense of data portability.

Google continued to call out Facebook stating, "Facebook is free to use the Android contacts API to truly integrate contacts on the device, which would allow users to have more control over their data."

So the actual Facebook app will still provide contact information for your friends. However, those contact data won't be integrated into your contact list. And Google cares about you so much, they're willing to stop their "special-case handling of Facebook contacts."

Really, they're doing it for the greater good. Google believes there is an "expectation that if information an be imported into a service, it should be able to be exported." It has nothing to do with their previous issues with Facebook. Really.

Interestingly, this feature has only been removed from the Nexus S and what Google has deemed "future lead devices." Whatever those may be.

About the author

Thom is a seasoned techincal SEO and digital analytics veteran. His current role as VP of Development and IT at Internet Marketing Ninjas includes the improvement of internal processes, leading the creation and refinement of industry-leading tools across multiple brands.

Previously he was a premier independent consultant, held a a senior search position at nationally renown TopRank Online Marketing and led all digital web-related technology's at Rochester Institute of Technology's Saunders College of Business. He also led analytics strategy efforts for the university's mobile initiative.

Part of the ClickZ Academy faculty, Thom has also taught for several well-respected colleges and universities. He is a regular speaker at ClickZ Live events and is a veteran of TEDx as well.