Have you ever wanted the email addresses of all your Facebook friends? Sure, you could go to each of their profiles individually and cut and paste their email address into your favorite email app or a spreadsheet… but who wants to go to all that trouble? Wouldn’t it be cool if you could just click a few buttons and do it all at once? You can, and it’s a pretty easy (if unglamorous) process.
To start, you need to sign up for a free email account at gmx.com. GMX offers free email accounts, much like Gmail and Yahoo! Mail accounts. But unlike the “import contacts from Facebook” applets at Yahoo! Mail and other sites, the GMX webapp actually works (see “Notes” section, below).
On the GMX homepage DO NOT click the “Login with Facebook” button at the top of the page. Instead, create an account the old-fashioned way by clicking “Sign Up Now” and filling out the simple form by entering your name, date of birth, country and state, and an alternate email address.
Once that’s done, open a new browser window and login to Facebook if you haven’t done so already. Back in the GMX window, login to your new account, then click “Address Book” in the lower left corner, then click the “Import/Export” button at the top of the page and choose “Import”. A window with icons for Facebook and many email programs will pop up. Choose “Facebook” (duh!) and then click “Allow” or “Yes” for any Facebook security windows that pop up. The GMX applet will scan your profile and allow you to choose which contacts you want to import (I just clicked the “Select All” button). It will then save them all to your GMX account (this might take several minutes, so don’t panic if the page seems “stuck”).
Once you’ve imported your Facebook contacts into GMX, click the “Import/Export” button again and choose “Export”. The “File Export Wizard” will give you a list of email programs to choose from (including Outlook Express, Windows Mail, Outlook 2003, Outlook 2007, Thunderbird, Apple Mail and “Others”). Choose the most appropriate option, click “Next” and you will be prompted for a location to save the file.
What happens next is up to you. I use Outlook 2010, so I chose the “Outlook 2007” option in the Export Wizard and saved the EXPORT.CSV file to my desktop. In Outlook, I created a new contacts folder called “Facebook Contacts” and then clicked Open > Import/Export and imported the CSV file into the new folder. And now I have a list of 252 of my Facebook friends in Outlook!
Note that Facebook doesn’t require users to share their email address with friends, so you’ll probably have a few blank entries in your contacts (42 of my friends didn’t share their addresses, so I deleted those contacts in Outlook).
Also, the GMX export wizard insists on adding a title (Mr, Ms) to most entries. I opened the CSV file in Excel and deleted just the data from that column, but when I imported the contacts everything was blank! I’ll tinker with this as time permits and put any updates in the comments section.
NOTES: I originally got this idea for this from this post at Lifehacker, which uses the same process with Yahoo! Mail. However, I tried to do this several times but it never worked (the Yahoo! webapp always happily reported that it had successfully imported zero contacts!). Perhaps the Yahoo! app doesn’t like Firefox or x64 versions of Windows 7. Maybe there was a transient problem with Yahoo! that day. I dunno. If your favorite freemail provider offers Facebook importing, feel free to try it there first. It won’t cost anything other than a few mouse clicks. However, I can say the process worked (nearly) flawlessly for me with GMX.