Google Drops Facebook Sync from Nexus S

That Gingerbread update that’s rolling out to Nexus S owners right now? Besides adding NFC functionality, it also is removing a feature from Google’s current flagship phone: Facebook contact sync.

Why? It’s part of Google’s ongoing spat with Facebook over how users’ contact data is handled. Last fall, Google blocked Facebook from importing Google contacts at a user’s request, arguing that if Facebook wanted to pull in contacts from Google, they should provide a way for users to get their Facebook contacts out. Now, they’re extending it to Android.

But wait– isn’t Facebook doing what Google wants in this case? Your Facebook contacts get pulled into your Android contact list, right?

Apparently not; though Facebook contacts appear there, they’re not stored with other contact data, and would disappear if you uninstalled the Facebook app or disassociated your Facebook account with your phone.

So going forward, you’ll be able to get at Facebook contact info only through the Facebook app. It’s for your own good, I’m sure you agree.

For now, this only applies to the Nexus S, but it will also apply to “future lead devices,” which I’m guessing means, at minimum, the Motorola XOOM.

Google’s full statement on the matter:

“We believe it is very important that users are able to control their data. So in the over-the-air update for Nexus S, we have a small change to how Facebook contacts appear on the device. For Nexus S users who downloaded the Facebook app from Android Market, Facebook contacts will no longer appear to be integrated with the Android Contacts app. Since Facebook contacts cannot be exported from the device, the appearance of integration created a false sense of data portability. Facebook contact data will continue to appear within the Facebook app. Like all developers on Android, Facebook is free to use the Android contacts API to truly integrate contacts on the device, which would allow users to have more control over their data. We are removing the special-case handling of Facebook contacts on Nexus S and future lead devices. We continue to believe that reciprocity (the expectation that if information can be imported into a service it should be able to be exported) is an important step toward creating a world of true data liberation — and encourage other websites and app developers to allow users to export their contacts as well.

“There will be no change in the way Facebook contacts appear on the Nexus One. Since the Facebook app was preloaded on Nexus One, it created an expectation for users of how the device would function.”

Source: TechCrunch

  • DarknesSx

    Damn that RETARDED Facebook… Seriously, Companies MUST work together to provide a good customer experience …
    Google was kind enough to let FB import contacts without FB doing the same for Google , So, basically Google was providing an awesome experience for BOTH(Facebook users AND Google users) on the other hand the retarded FB is NOT providing that for neither(New facebook users with Google accounts nor Google users with FB account) so in short GO TO HELL FACEBOOK AND WELCOME TWITTER (WHICH SOMEDAY WILL BE CALLED GOOGLE TWITTER :D)

  • comrade

    thanks Google. Until now I had to keep FB off my devices for this reason.

    FB is directly linked to CIA database (that keeps track of everyone’s life in the US: such as address/name changes, positions, travel schedules etc.. – don’t belive me? ask you any friendly PI who can buy a profile on anyone with a SSN for $5)

  • hero squad

    Comrade, your tin foil is loose.

  • Comrade speaks the truth though

  • andrew meyers

    yep comrade is actually somewhat correct. can be done exactly as stated

  • multia

    But FB has always provided an API to pull all your contacts and their information. If google could get all the data into your phone before, what prevents them to store that data ? (after user’s approval)

  • Guest

    Thanks for reducing my customer experience.

    oh yeah will lead to a better world…

    but by now using phone without the profile pictures is very poor.

  • Anonymous

    damn, so that’s why. i want the profile pics! 

  • Probably another reason is google+/facebook war. But I’ve discovered this just today and it sucks. 

  • Aaron Colom

    damn this blows… ruined the best cell phone I have ever had

  • Mvfunk94

    I was suckered into buying the Nexus from Best Buy yesterday and the sales person didn’t mention any of this! I’ve been trying to sync my contacts all morning. I will be returning this phone today! Ugh what a disappointment, this phone was awesome but I need to be able to sync with my facebook.