Facebook is trying to create one inbox to rule them all, but for those of us who don't trust Facebook enough to give them all our communication, taking control of that information is an important step toward retaining your communication freedom.
Even if you like to use Facebook to communicate with friends, you may not be comfortable with all of your communication living inside Facebook. Here's how to export your friends' email addresses from Facebook.
Facebook has taken the stance that the only Facebook data that belongs to you is your information, and that your friends' information - like their email addresses - belongs solely to them. As TechCrunch points out, that stance doesn't hold much water when Facebook also gives big companies like Microsoft and Yahoo access to the very data they say belongs exclusively to your friends.
Facebook has made gestures toward openness lately, but they're still keeping their users' email addresses to themselves (and huge partners). Luckily the access they're giving to Yahoo makes it easy to export all of the email addresses of your Facebook friends. Here's how to export all of your Facebook friends' email addresses in a few simple steps. We've mentioned this method in our guide to consolidating your contact list, but with all the Facebook messaging stuff going on, it seems like a good time for a step-by-step reminder. You can either watch the walkthrough in the video above or follow the step-by-step below.
Step One: Sign Up for (or Sign Into) Yahoo Mail
Point your browser to Yahoo Mail. If you have an account, you can sign in here. If not, click the Create New Account button and fill out the signup information.
Note: If you want a clean backup of your Facebook friends' email, I'd recommend creating a new account even if you already have a Yahoo Mail account.
Step Two: Import Your Facebook Friends' Email Addresses
Now that you've signed up for (or signed into) your Yahoo Mail account, you're ready to import email from Facebook. It's really easy to do. If you just signed up, you should see a prompt to import contacts from Facebook, Gmail, Hotmail, and other sources. (If you already had a Yahoo Mail account, just click over to the Import Contacts tool.) Click on Facebook, grant Yahoo access to your Facebook account, and then just wait as the contacts are exported from Facebook and imported to Yahoo.
Step Three: Export Your Facebook Email Addresses from Yahoo
Once the import completes, you can export those email addresses in a number of formats. Again, back at the Yahoo Address Book, just click on Tool -> Export (or just click here), and click the Export Now button next to the export type you'd prefer.
Bonus Step Four: Import the Facebook Email to Gmail
I use Gmail, and tested importing my Facebook contacts' email to my Gmail account like so:
- Export the Yahoo! CSV from Yahoo. Gmail can likely handle a lot of different file types for contact import, but CSV is plain text and works like a charm.
- Load Gmail Contacts, then click on More actions -> Import, then upload the CSV file you downloaded from Yahoo. You can optionally add these contacts to a group (I called them Facebook Contacts).
- Click Import and you're done.
That's all there is to it.