It’s a Sweet Revenge for Facebook (Versus Google)

The battle going on between Google and Facebook over open data portability continues.

Just when everyone thought that Facebook has already lost a key piece to its social graph when Google tweaked its service (an obvious attempt to minimize Facebook) leading Google’s Contacts API to demand reciprocity before anyone could import friends’ list into another service, Facebook’s geniuses have come up with a workaround.

In a statement released by Google following their announcement of the new procedure, it said:

“We have a data liberation engineering team dedicated to building import and export tools for users. We are not alone. Many other sites allow users to import and export their information, including contacts, quickly and easily. But sites that do not, such as Facebook, leave users in a data dead end. [W]e will no longer allow websites to automate the import of users’ Google Contacts (via our API) unless they allow similar export to other sites.”

In a week’s time Facebook has crafted a resolution to answer Google’s actions. Before, when you first sign up to Facebook, it presented the option of importing all your email contacts from Yahoo! Mail, Hotmail and other email providers. Now, Facebook requires users to initially upload their contacts onto their own computer and then send these on to Facebook. No sweat. Not burdensome, a modest trick has gotten Facebook their sweet revenge against Google’s block.

On the other end, Google has expressed its disappointment on how Facebook resolved this issue unfairly. No further details were released along with that statement from the search giant.

With these developments on the rivalry of the two opposing billion-dollar companies, will peaceful co-existence ever be possible?  It’s a question that pokes at the core of personal cloud access, rights and legal implications.  Social networks and web-based services will bring about some intense discussions on how the personal cloud will be utilized in the future.

Both Google and Facebook have had a stream of privacy issues brought to light, with Google apologetic of its Street View data-gathering methods, and Facebook scrambling to fix a data-leakage problem.