How To Import Your Facebook Contacts Into Gmail The Easy Way

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import facebook contacts to gmailGmail is where I spend a lot of time during a given day. Whether I’m answering a fresh round of emails or searching through a pile of old ones to find important information I had either forgotten or misplaced, Gmail usually helps me get the job done in a short amount of time. One thing I never find myself doing however, is adding contacts to my address book, because well, that just takes too much time. Besides, I would have to enter all of that information manually. Where would I even find the kind of information that goes along with my contacts’ names and email addresses?

Facebook. Most of the people I know who I would like to include in my Gmail contacts are already friends with me on Facebook. So if I ever need to know where they currently live or work the chances are good I can just search for it there. But wouldn’t it be great if Facebook and Gmail played nicely together so I could have all of that information in one place? ¬†Well, now they do, with a simple little web application called Friends to Gmail.

What Is Friends To Gmail?

Friends to Gmail (directory app) is a web application that you can use to convert your Facebook friends list into a nice, Gmail-compatible CSV file. Once created, you can import this file right into Gmail and all of your friends’ information, like names, locations, birthdays, bios, work history, and hometowns, will be added to your contacts for you.¬†The app asks for permissions to retrieve this type of information from your Facebook account, but since all of the work is done within the browser, Friends to Gmail’s servers never actually “download” anything, which should alleviate any privacy concerns you may have about the app.

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One thing to note is that Friends to Gmail does not download email addresses and phone numbers for your friends. This is because Facebook does not currently provide developers with a way to retrieve this type of data, and for good reason. After all, we already have enough privacy concerns with Facebook. Friends to Gmail’s developer does claim to be working on a way around this for those of us that would welcome such an option.

As an added benefit, you will be able to add all of your friends’ birthdays to your Google Calendar!

How Do I Use Friends To Gmail?

To get started importing your friends, just head over to Friends to Gmail’s homepage and click the giant Connect with Facebook button. It will ask for your permission (as detailed above) and you will be able to download your CSV file.

import facebook contacts to gmail

Then head over to your Gmail account and click Contacts.

import facebook contacts

On the Contacts page, click on the More actions drop-down menu and select Import….

import facebook contacts

From there, a box will pop up that allows your to select a CSV file to upload. Choose the file that Friends to Gmail generated and you’re all set!

import facebook contacts to gmail

Conclusion

Personally, I think this app is a lifesaver. It finally gave me a good reason to want to keep my Gmail contact list up to date, which enables me to add friends that I hadn’t previously emailed to my outgoing messages, making Facebook’s information even more useful.

What do you think of Friends to Gmail? Do you find this app useful?

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24 Comments - Write a Comment

Reply

Misterex

If you do not want ALL your Facebook friends, you can edit the CSV file in a text editor and eliminate the friends you do not want. 

Steve Campbell

Thanks for sharing this bit of information! I’m sure it will be very helpful to others. :)

Reply

Kelly Faulkner

no, i didn’t find it helpful. i ended up with a huge spreadsheet that required massive editing, and after i’d spent some time on it, i realised that most of my friends are all in my contact list anyway (duh), and for those that aren’t, it would be far less time consuming to copy and paste their email addys directly from fb to gmail. would have loved the birthdays integrated with my calendar though.¬†

would have been more helpful if the app-created file downloaded itself in a ready-to-go csv file, rather than having to copy and paste into excel and then edit so it could be imported. i did try simply saving the file and the importing, just in case, but it doesn’t work, possibly because there’s far too much unusable info in it – people’s favourite this and thats, quotations, ramblings about themselves, etc, on their info pages, which is what the app collects.¬†needing to edit the csv file is a huge step in the process that i don’t think most people with bother with. unless i’m doing it wrong? happy to be put right if there’s an easier way!

for those willing to go with the hard yards, here’s google’s instructions on how to make your data into an importable file: ¬†http://mail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=12119

Steve Campbell

Thanks for the great feedback, Kelly. I’m sorry the app wasn’t for you, but you do raise some valid points. Hopefully we can see a few improvements in the near future.

Kelly Faulkner

no worries! looking forward to the next incarnation :O)

Reply

Susendeep Dutta

Nice.I hope this app gets its share of popularity in near future.

Steve Campbell

Glad you like it! Thanks!

Reply

Kevin Schlanger

No! I want something that syncs Google Contacts and Facebook.

Steve Campbell

Get to work on that Kevin. I’d use it! :)

Reply

Rod

This is the most awesome utility ever. I love it. Thank you for sharing!

Steve Campbell

Thanks a lot, Rod. I’m glad you found it so useful!

Reply

Ashfaq

Yes the application is useful to me. Tried your method and imported around 500 friends list from Facebook to Gmail.
 

Steve Campbell

Happy to see you’re enjoying it. Thanks for your feedback!

Reply

Dojeeich

I’m one of those people who’d rather pass on something like this.¬† I went so far as to open a new G-mail account strictly for Facebook.¬† After having been burned by three other sites in the past, I’m not in the mood to “blend” a web site I’m a member of and an e-mail account ever again.

Besides, all but two of my contacts live in the immediate area; I can get ahold of them pretty much anytime.

Steve Campbell

No worries, Dojeeich. I figured a service like this wouldn’t be for everyone.¬†

Reply

Aaron Couch

I too thought this was going to be more helpful that what it was. I downloaded it, imported them and thought I was good. I went back and looked and saw that 260 Facebook friends have numbers available, but only a small handful were added into Gmail via the CSV file. Not sure how that worked. Any tips?

Steve Campbell

Sorry to hear that, Aaron. It may have something to do with how Facebook stores that information, but I’m really not sure. Perhaps you can shoot an email over to the developer to see if there is a solution.

Reply

Khaled

How can I save the text I get from the app. into a CSV file?! :s im stuck!

Tina

Khaled,

the app should automatically save your Facebook contacts as CSV file. However, yo have to grant it access to your Facebook account. So where exactly are you stuck?

Steve Campbell

Thanks, Tina! Khaled, do you have Microsoft Excel installed on your computer? I’d imagine if you’re getting text you can re-save the file as a .CSV or even copy/paste it in an Excel doc. Google Docs would be another option for you as well.

Reply

Bthornton66

It only imported the names of my Facebook friends. In some instances, some “notes” were included, but NO phone numbers were imported. The names don’t do me any good unless I know how to contact them. Any suggestions?

Steve Campbell

Very strange, Bthornton66. Unfortunately I don’t know what to tell you. Ideally it would pull in not only the names, but any other information that was available.¬†

Reply

Bumpguy

Does the app include email address to add ‘new’ contacts to Gmail?

Steve Campbell

Unfortunately I’m not sure what you’re referring to, Bumpguy. If you’re talking about adding Facebook friends as new contacts in Gmail, then yes, the program should pull them right in.

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