<firstimage=”//static.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/0_friendstogmail.jpg”>Gmail 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.
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.
Then head over to your Gmail account and click Contacts.
On the Contacts page, click on the More actions drop-down menu and select Import….
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!
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?