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Facebook will allow you to export your friends list

By January 8, 2008 8 Comments

I don’t usually repeat news as it happens, but this is potentially massive.  From Techcrunch UK:

In a major move Facebook, Google and Plaxo are effectively ending their policy of keeping users locked-in to their social networks. As TechCrunch US reports, today Facebook, Google and Plaxo have joined the DataPortability Workgroup, implying that users will soon be allowed to export their contacts from one social network to another

Suddenly the Scoble Facebook fight seems a bit irrelevant!

I’m not sure how this fits with OpenSocial, but seeing as Google is in both I guess they won’t conflict.

As a recap, this is big news because it changes the winner takes all dynamic of the social networking industry.  When friends weren’t portable between networks it was natural that everyone gravitated to a small number of sites, but with portability and some integration it will become much easier for everyone to live in multiple niche sites, which more accurately reflects what we do in the real world.