Facebook iPhone News Technology

How To Sync Facebook Friends With iPhone Contacts

facebook iphone syncI’ve always said that the best iPhone app on the market is the Facebook 3.0 iPhone App – it’s actually 3.1.2 now, but who’s counting.  And just this morning, when I clicked on my “Friends” button on the Facebook iPhone app, I was presented with a feature called “Sync Friends“.

This feature allows you to sync your “friends” on Facebook to your iPhone contact list, and it will also send your iPhone contact list to your Facebook profile.

Here’s how to use the “Sync Friends” feature:

1) Open your Facebook iPhone

2) If you are taking first to your news stream, then click the button in the upper left hand corner (the one with 9 little white squares on it) so that you go back to your main Facebook iPhone app dashboard.

3) Click the “Friends” button (upper right hand corner of the main Facebook iPhone App dashboard page).  If your Facebook app opened directly to the dashboard, then just click the “Friends” button.

4) Once you’ve clicked the “Friends” button, you might be presented with a message telling you about the new “Sync Friends” feature.  If not, just click the “Sync” button in the far upper right hand corner.

5) You’ll now see 2 option for syncing – you can just sync your contacts information, or you can additionally pull in your Facebook friends pictures – you chose.  You now just need to tap the “on / off” swivel to turn your features on.

6) When you click the “On” swivel for Syncing you’ll be presented with the following message:

“If you enable this feature, all contacts from your device (name, email address, phone number) will be sent to Facebook and be subject to Facebook’s Privacy Policy, and your friends’ profile photos and other info from Facebook will be added to your iPhone address book. Please make sure your friends are comfortable with any use you make of their information.”

This is telling you that all of your iPhone’s contact list will be sent to the Facebook servers.  And once those contacts are on the Facebook servers, they now fall under the privacy policies of Facebook.

7) Go ahead and click “I Agree” to begin the syncing process – your iPhone will now show a progress bar of the syncing.

If you desire to import the photos of your Facebook friends to be associated with their contact profile on your iPhone, then simply click the “Replace photos” swivel to “on” and your iPhone will pull in all of the photos of the contacts.

Once your iPhone is done syncing, then it will just stop processing – and that’s it!

If you don’t already have Facebook 3.0 iPhone App, then click here (open iTunes).  This is without a doubt the best iPhone app in the app store – in my opinion of course!

You should now be able to scroll through your friends list on your Facebook iPhone app and see a whole lot more phone icons in your friends’ list.  This means that your Facebook friends list and your iPhone contact data is now synced.

You can also remove the sync and pull all the data back by going back to your Facebook iPhone app > clicking “Friends” > clicking “sync” > and you’ll now see a big red button called “Remove Data”.

Also, each time you open your “Friends” list on your Facebook iPhone app, your iPhone will automatically sync with your Facebook profile and try to find new friends to sync, and new photos to update.

Privacy Concerns with Friends Sync on Facebook iPhone App

Some people are immediately raising concerns over this new Facebook app feature because they aren’t sure if they trust Facebook enough to send all of their contact’s information from their iPhone to their Facebook profile.

But a Facebook spokesman Stephen Naventi has already addressed this concern by emailing a statement to the MiamiHerald:

“If a user chooses to activate the sync feature for profile photos, all the contacts of the user will be copied from the phone to Facebook (name, phone number, e-mail address only).”

“This information is not shared with any other user on Facebook and is not shared with third parties. Facebook protects this information under the same privacy rules and Terms of Service like any other personal information a user gives to Facebook.”

So I think you don’t have anything to worry about with this new Friends Sync function on the Facebook iPhone App.

What do you think?  Should we be concerned with this new “friends sync” option in the Facebook iPhone App?  Are you going to use it and sync your Facebook friends with your iPhone?

Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments!

14 replies on “How To Sync Facebook Friends With iPhone Contacts”

Hi Matt – it actually only grabs data that is shared at the public level from Facebook.

But I understand your point nonetheless…

i don't understand his point.. does he really think he's that important that facebook is going to use his friends contact for anything? let alone something malicious? :)
damn old people and their privacy "concerns"

i don't understand his point.. does he really think he's that important that facebook is going to use his friends contact for anything? let alone something malicious? :)
damn old people and their privacy "concerns"

Hi Javi – good point. People underestimate the extent to which sites like Facebook go to protect people's privacy. With Facebook syncing with the iPhpne contacts, it's only syncing information that you shared in the first place on your public profile.

No, clearly, almost all of you missed the point. The point is that you will be sharing all of your iPhone contact details with Facebook. That includes many contacts that you never gave Facebook before, plus many details on contacts that Facebook was previously not privy to. Facebook can then store the information indefinitely, using in whatever way they please, as long as it abides by their current privacy agreement.

Facebook should not be doing this! More than half of my iPhone contacts are not in Facebook, and I'm sure they would not be happy with me sharing all their personal contact info from my address book with Facebook!

Instead, the app should gather contacts, determine which ones match ones in your friends list, and download details for those contacts from Facebook, without sharing your entire private contact list with Facebook.

This is inexcusable. Shame on you Facebook.

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