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How best to import contacts from other social media sites?

I am working on a social media site. Allowing users to import their connections from Facebook is desirable; however, I understand that Fb has recently blocked the ability of new sites from doing so. Asking new users to input emails manually seems to be a non-starter. Does anyone have any insights into best practice for allowing users to import their current contracts into a new site?

3 Replies

Deborah Tutnauer, MEd, MSW
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Business & Entrepreneurs Solutions. I help people increase their income and happiness. Authentic Foundation & Framework.
It's been a very long time since Facebook allowed anyone to import a contact list to another platform or to a CSV file. There might be a way to do this if you were creating an app that signed in with Facebook and had permissions that requested access to Facebook friends.

You could set up your site to access users email contacts. Many platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter do this. It does create a mass mailing of sorts to everyone on user's email contact list, so many don't love using this option. But I'm sure your developer could allow that to happen on your site.

Personally, if you are creating a new social media site, I would think the mindset would be on having participants invite those they really want to engage with on this new platform. With that perception, it's actually a good thing that invites must be generated manually.

Best of luck with this.
Mark Rothbaum
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Mark Rothbaum Entrepreneur • Advisor
Building Communities for Higher Education
I doubt going the Facebook App route will help too much unless it's finding friends that already use your service. The API only allows you to pull a list of friends that are also users of your Facebook App. Since the upgrade to Graph 2.0, you can no longer pull a complete list a Facebook user's friends anymore.

If there's value to members sharing content from your site back to their other social media accounts, that might be a possible route. That was a key part of Instagram's growth... people starting seeing photos from their friends shared from Instagram, encouraging them to create their own accounts.
Michael Lattier
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Michael Lattier Entrepreneur
Attorney at Hunter, Smith & Davis
Thanks for the response. I agree that the preference is not to import all "friends" from Fb wholecloth. I was hoping to find a way to import the entire list and then deselect so that only those who you really want on the new site will populate your network.
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