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How to Migrate your Facebook Friends to Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn


Please Note: See the New & Updated Article

Yahoo now tags all contacts that have been imported from Facebook, making it difficult to migrate your Facebook friends information. I have written a new article which outlines a new way to transfer your Facebook contacts to Twitter using a special bookmarklet.

See New Facebook-Twitter Migration Article


 

twitter facebook google(UPDATED– It seems Yahoo have made it difficult to export Facebook contacts, see below)

So, you’ve built up great contacts and friends on Facebook, but you want to follow them on TwitterGoogle+ and LinkedIn? Unfortunately Facebook has had a history of making it difficult to export your data out. It’s pretty ridiculous if you think about it– it’s your data and Facebook shares our information with many of the big companies every day.

It is, however, possible to export your friend’s contact information and migrate them to Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn. There are a few things to note with this approach:

  1. This only exports your personal Facebook profile’s friends. i.e. not any fans on any of your Facebook pages. There have been many hacks that have tried to achieve this (notably this Javascript hack by Adam Loving — @adamloving) but many either don’t work or have been removed, presumably after being contacted by Facebook.
  2. It depends on the privacy settings of each friend. Each friend will have different privacy settings and not all friends will be sharing their email address.
  3. It only works for Facebook friends who already use Twitter. OK, this is obvious, but the friend has to already be on Twitter for you to be able to follow them! For those not on Twitter yet, you’ll get the chance to invite them to Twitter. This is not quite the same with Google+ as they don’t need to be a signed up member. When you add one of your Facebook friends to Google+ you will have the option to send them a post as an email.
  4. You can’t force them to be your Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn Friend/Connection. Another obvious point, this will only allow you to follow them on Twitter. Twitter works differently with contacts from Facebook. On Facebook there needs to be a mutual agreement to the relationship. On Twitter you can follow someone without them following you back (unless one of you has protected their tweets)

I’d love to be able to share a way of migrating your Facebook business page fans to Google+ or Twitter, but currently that’s not possible. Here is how you migrate your Facebook friends (personal profile) to Twitter. We’ll deal with Google+ at the end.

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1.) Sign up (or log into) Yahoo Mail.

If you already have Yahoo! Mail, just sign in as usual. If you haven’t, sign up for a new account. If you already have a Yahoo account, then you might want to create a new account so that your contacts don’t get mixed up. It’s up to you.

 2.) Import your Facebook Contacts

Click on the contacts tab at the top, and then click the button “import contacts” on the right. Note, if you have just signed up for a new Yahoo! Mail account, you may get this option as soon as you create the account.

Yahoo Mail Importer You’ll then be presented with a number of import options. Click on the Facebook icon to proceed.

Facebook permissionsA Facebook permissions box will appear, asking you if you are happy for your contacts information to be shared with Yahoo!. Click on OK to proceed.

Getting stuff from FacebookYahoo! Mail then tried to get your contacts information from Facebook.

 Now importing…processing information…

Facebook Export done …congratulations, your Facebook contacts have been imported! Click the Done button.

UPDATE May 22, 2012– There have been comments that the import fails, or only imports some of your contacts. I’ve tested the above process many times over the past few months. Sometimes the import failed, sometimes it only imported 50 of my 235 contacts, and sometimes it worked. I’ve tested it again today and it does seem to be working again. As far as I can tell, Yahoo have had some issues with their API, so my advice is to keep trying. Just in case (and this is unlikely) it is a browser issue, I’ve been using Google Chrome and can confirm it worked today– so keep trying!


Yahoo! Contacts ImporterUPDATE June 5, 2012–
Despite it working for me, some people have commented below that they are still having issues importing contacts from Facebook into Yahoo! Mail. After a bit more research, it does appear that Yahoo is aware of the problem and is working on it. If you are still having issues, then you could try removing the Yahoo! Contact Importer app from Facebook and then re-add it. To remove the app from Facebook, visit the app settings page in Facebook and click on the cross by Yahoo! Contact Importer. Once you’ve done this, go through all the steps above and try again. Please let me know how you get on in the comments below, and whether this solves the issue for you. Once I hear anything more from Yahoo! I will update this article.

You could stop here if you want– then you’ll have backed up your Facebook contacts in Yahoo Mail! However, since this post is about migrating your Facebook friends to Twitter, we need to move on…!

3) Importing your Facebook Friends to Twitter

UPDATED– 6 March 2012– Unfortunately, Yahoo! Mail no longer allow you to export any contacts that were imported from Facebook as can be seen on this “help” article. You can still export to Twitter, but only if you edit each contact individually. When you edit each contact, you’ll automatically remove the Facebook tag. I’m looking at ways of making this easier and will update this article soon.

Twitter Importer Log into you Twitter account (you do have one, don’t you?!) and head on down to the Twitter importer. You can find this by clicking on the previous link, or by clicking on Discover then Find Friends on the left navigation. Click on the Search Contacts button by the Yahoo! Mail option. (As I said in the update text above, you will probably receive an error message because Yahoo is blocking the export of your Facebook contacts. One workaround at the moment, is to edit each contact individually to remove the Facebook tag). The other more automated way (but very complicated) is to use this method by  which involved Excel and a Chrome addon– not for the faint hearted.

Yahoo! Mail PermissionsOnce the Yahoo! Mail permissions window loads, click on the Agree button. This gives Twitter permission to import your Yahoo! Mail contacts.

Twitter Import CompleteImport Complete! Congratulations, you have successfully migrated your Facebook friends to Twitter. Of course, not all your Facebook friends will be on Twitter, so you’ll also have the option of inviting them to Twitter.

Adding your Facebook Friends to Google+

google+Another cool thing you can do is migrate your Facebook friends to Google+. It works in a very similar way. Firstly, import your Facebook friends into Yahoo! Mail as shown above, then go to your circles page on Google+ and link your Yahoo! contacts. You can then drag all your FB friends to a circle of your choice. The advantage here is that your Facebook contacts don’t have to be Google+ users. You’ll have the option of sending posts to their email address instead.

Adding your Facebook Friends to LinkedIn

LinkedIn import contactsOnce you have all your Facebook contacts imported to your Yahoo! contacts, it’s really easy to import these into LinkedIn. Just click through to contacts and then “add connections”. Put your Yahoo email address in the email box under the heading “See Who You Already Know on LinkedIn” and click continue. LinkedIn will see you that you are using a Yahoo email address and will automatically connect to Yahoo!. Click on “Agree” on the new window that pops up under the heading “Click “Agree” to sign in to www.linkedin.com using your Yahoo! ID and allow sharing of Yahoo! info.” and your contacts should be imported into LinkedIn!

Adding your Facebook Friends to Pinterest

pinterest contact importAs Pinterest naturally connects to your Facebook friends, it’s very easy to do this. Just make sure you connect your Facebook account with Pinterest and then click on “Find Friends from Facebook”. Obviously none of my Facebook friends are Pinterest users though, so this wasn’t very helpful to me!

Adding your Facebook Page Fans to Twitter/Google+/LinkedIn?

As I mentioned at the start of this post, unfortunately it isn’t possible. Adam Loving posted his article on how to export your Facebook fan page to a CSV file in 2009, but this stopped working in 2011 when Facebook updated their API. It was a bit of a hack and there was no doubt this went against Facebook’s terms and conditions, which could create the possibility of you getting banned.

It’s a big shame that it’s not possible to migrate your Facebook fan page fans to Twitter. However, in some ways that’s probably a good idea. think about the security and privacy implications. When you “like” a Facebook business page, would you happy for your email address to be used in this way?

However, it seems Facebook are making it more and more difficult to even find out the names of your Facebook page fans. The list of “likes” is hidden in the Insights section, and there you will only be able to see the first 500 people. Again, Adam Loving, in a post last month (April 2012) sums up the problem rather well. Have a read– it’s entitled (rather provocatively) 5 reasons Facebook pages are evil!

Other Thoughts

I hope you found this information useful. Please do let me know how you get on, and whether there are any contact migration guides you’d be interested in.

For a step by step video explaination of how to import your Facebook friends to Yahoo! Mail, check out this one by Adam Pash (@adampash) from Lifehacker:

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About Ian Anderson Gray

Ian is a web developer, social media consulant & Partner of Select Performers. In real life he is a husband, dad, geek and runs a monthly tech meet up called Cheadle Geeks and a regular coworkers event called Cheadle Jelly. Find out more


Comments- Let me know what you think!

  • adamloving

    Great write up. I should make a pass through and synchronize my contacts on all the social networks. Thanks for linking to me! I need to revisit my “hack” and update it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=502165135 Minaxi ‘Minx’ Parmar

    Hello.. I have an issue.. Importing from Facebook to Twitter. I get to the Twitter Importer, and it tells me no contacts were found, when there are contacts in my Yahoo contacts list. Please help. Thank you.

    • http://iag.me/ Ian Anderson Gray

      That’s odd, it works for me. I’ll try it again tomorrow and see if I can replicate your issue. 

    • Brittany

      I’m having the same issue. I can see about 300 contacts from FB in my Yahoo address book but when I try to use the Yahoo importer in Twitter, it says I have no contacts in my address book. 

      • http://iag.me/ Ian Anderson Gray

        Brittany, how have you got on? Did you manage to sort it in the end. I think there have been issues with Yahoo’s API. I can confirm that it worked for me this morning– so do try again and let us know!

      • Marquiselee

        same for me :( please help

    • Kapalm

      I’m having the same problem.  :-(

      • Guest

        Sorry to hear you’ve been having problems. I’ve tried it again by deleting all my contacts in Yahoo and importing Facebook contacts. After the import it said 0 contacts, but when I then clicked on the contacts list it said I had 50. However I should have had over 300 imported. Clearly there is some issue or bug in the import process. 

        What browsers are you all using? I am using Chrome. 

        I was wondering whether it was something to do with a bug in Yahoo’s API– 
        http://developer.yahoo.com/forum/Contacts/Bug-in-the-API-/1334312872398-2b620f78-af2a-40c5-9f17-882040cda370

      • http://iag.me/ Ian Anderson Gray

        Sorry to hear you’ve been having problems. I’ve tried it again by
        deleting all my contacts in Yahoo and importing Facebook contacts. After
        the import it said 0 contacts, but when I then clicked on the contacts
        list it said I had 50. However I should have had over 300 imported.
        Clearly there is some issue or bug in the import process. 

        What browsers are you all using? I am using Chrome. 

        I was wondering whether it was something to do with a bug in Yahoo’s API– 
        http://developer.yahoo.com/forum/Contacts/Bug-in-the-API-/1334312872398-2b620f78-af2a-40c5-9f17-882040cda370     

        • Xxx

          The issue is not going from yahoo > twitter. it looks like yahoo’s Facebook contacts are tagged — you can not download or export them from yahoos contacts. Possibly yahoos tagged fb friends are now blocked from exporting into twitter.

          • http://iag.me/ Ian Anderson Gray

            Do try again. I think Yahoo were having issues with their API which made some of the requests fail or only give migration of only some of the contacts. I tried again today and it seems to be working fine. I’ve updated the article accordingly.

        • Kapalm

          Thanks. I’m going to try it again soon. I use Chrome also.

      • http://iag.me/ Ian Anderson Gray

        Please try again, it seemed to work for me. I am hoping it was a temporary issue with the Yahoo API.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matt-Kapture/1245425220 Matt Kapture

          Any update? I tried and am having the same 0 found in address book message, i have 50 in contacts from FB
          Thanks

        • Boo

          i am having same problem .. have been repeatedly trying over past month, always says no contacts found in address book even though there are hundreds. have tried in different browsers.

          • http://twitter.com/DaveBeez David Beesley

            Same problems as all above!
            Maybe they realised what everyone was doing?

          • http://iag.me/ Ian Anderson Gray

            Oh dear. I had hoped that Yahoo had fixed their API. It had worked for me after extensive testing. Perhaps it just worked for a little bit.

            It would be really helpful if you all let me know:-What browser you’re using?
            –How many contacts you’re trying to move over?
             – What error message are you getting (or what percentage of contacts get moved over)?

          • http://iag.me/ Ian Anderson Gray

            I’ve created an updated article, which shows a new way to get your Facebook friends to Twitter using a bookmarklet and a CSV file - http://iag.me/socialmedia/how-to-transfer-your-facebook-friends-to-twitter-and-other-networks-an-update/

  • Nat

    I get the same problem :(

    • http://iag.me/ Ian Anderson Gray

      Sorry you’re still having issues. It appears that Yahoo are aware of the issue and are working on it. I’ve updated the article with this info and with some other ideas of work arounds. Let me know if this helps.

      • Andy

        The issue that you linked to states that there is an “issue where some or none of their Facebook contacts can be imported into Yahoo! Contacts.” However, I as well as others here have problems importing Yahoo! contacts into Twitter. For me, importing my Facebook friends into Yahoo! worked without problems. Twitter, however, says that my contact list is empty, which is clearly false; I both have my Facebook friends in there plus a few other Yahoo! users. Some people claim that the Facebook list is stored separately, but if that were true, then it should at least find my Yahoo! friends that have nothing to do with Facebook. But it doesn’t.

        • http://iag.me/ Ian Anderson Gray

          Ah! Thanks, Andy. Completely misread the problem. I do know some people have contacted me with a problem getting the contracts in from Facebook to Yahoo Mail, but you’re right that most of the commenters here are having problems with the second stage– from Yahoo to Twitter. Would help if I had read them more carefully!

          I’ll try this later, but how about exporting contacts from Yahoo to a CSV file and then into GMail and then into Twitter? A very long way round, but worth a Terry as it might just work!

        • http://iag.me/ Ian Anderson Gray

          Thanks, Andy. I’m so sorry, but I had misread some of the comments. Although some people have contacted me to say they were having issues with getting their Facebook contacts into Yahoo Mail (something Yahoo is aware of), I hadn’t realised people were having issues with getting their contacts from Yahoo to Twitter.

          I was hoping that a work around would be to export the contacts from Yahoo Mail as a CSV file and then import into GMail before then importing into Twitter (quite a long way round!), but when I tried to export from Yahoo it came out with a blank CSV file.

          It turns out that Yahoo stops you from exporting your Facebook friends– they’re all tagged (something that you refer to). Yahoo have even written a “help” article on the subject– http://help.yahoo.com/kb/index?locale=en_US&y=PROD_ACCT&page=content&id=SLN5752&actp=search&searchid=1338986048208

          The only way at the moment is to go through each contact individually and then save (you may have to add a character and then delete in order to save) to remove the Facebook tag. Then, I can confirm you are able to export to Twitter. 

          I am hoping there will be a work around for this, but it’s likely to be complex. Hopefully we can work this out.

          • http://iag.me/ Ian Anderson Gray

            I’ve created an updated article, which shows a new way to get your Facebook friends to Twitter using a bookmarklet and a CSV file - http://iag.me/socialmedia/how-to-transfer-your-facebook-friends-to-twitter-and-other-networks-an-update/

  • Guest

    You can use the  LinkedIn Facebook app to find your FB friends on LI, no need to mess w/ importing your contacts into Yahoo… http://apps.facebook.com/161320853908703

    • http://iag.me/ Ian Anderson Gray

      Thanks for this– very good point. I’ll be re-writing this article soon so will try and include this!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=510698831 Alberto M. Daccarett Armijo

    Yahoo allowed me to import but only 300 facebook friends. How can I import all of my +600 contacts?

  • JOHN

    JULY 20, 2012.…YAHOO WILL ONLY IMPORT 300 OF MY FACEBOOK CONTACTSTRIED WITH VARIOUS BROWSWERSTRIED AGAIN AFTER DELETING APP ON FBTOO.

    • http://iag.me/ Ian Anderson Gray

      Sometimes it says it says it has imported 300 when actually it has imported more. Have you checked to see if it has imported more than 300? Also, bare in mind that it will only import your FB friends who have their privacy settings set in a way that will allow this. 

  • contacts!!!!

    Any updates to import more than 300 contacts from facebook to yahoo mail? Thanks a million

    • http://iag.me/ Ian Anderson Gray

      Unfortunately not. It’s a bit tricky for me, as I seem to have under 300 friends who have the privacy settings set to be able to let me to transfer them over. Anyone else having the same problem?

  • thabaesik

    very good article. I think I will be doing a review on this .. thanks

    • http://iag.me/ Ian Anderson Gray

      Thanks! Let me know how you get on.

  • Guest

    It always says no one in address book

  • James Aire

    You say that Yahoo has made it impossible, etc., but I have found a way around that without editing each contact. When you get your list after ‘Print All’, copy and paste the list into the box in gmail to add email contacts. It is a mess as it separates the names and the e-mails so it looks like you have added way more contacts than you have. But, when you import into Twitter, it does not seem to mind and adds the contacts anyway!

    • http://iag.me/ Ian Anderson Gray

      Wow, that sounds really interesting. I’ll have to try that out later this week. Thanks for your comment.

  • steffin

    still am not able to import contacts from face book to twitter

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