Facebook and Microsoft Open Up Contacts

Microsoft has teamed up with Facebook, Tagged, Hi5, Bebo and LinkedIn to allow people to transfer their contacts between the five networks and Microsoft’s Windows Live Service. It’s a start in being able to access some of the data locked into a social profile, but it’s by no means as wide-ranging as Google’s efforts to push the Social Graph.

The Google effort uses FOAF and XFM tags to track contacts on the public web and port them into participating players, such as Twitter and Flickr, that already use those tags. The Microsoft effort involves an API shared between the six members of the group. Microsoft’s goals are to prevent screen scraping of data used for phishing, whereas Google wants to make information on the internet (even personal connections) as searchable as possible.