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Facebook Panics Over Google+ Craze

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Since launching a week ago, Google+ has dominated tech news so much, you'd think it was developing the iPhone 5. The Search Giant's new social network has generated so much demand -- "insane," is the word Google's social head Vic Gundotra used -- the company was forced to close the doors to new users for the time being. But for the few who already have accounts, many are saying it's a welcome change from Facebook.

And that has Zuckerberg and Co. worried.

Facebook is trying its damnedest to step the potential exodus to Google+. Along with having a "big announcement" for tomorrow, which some are claiming will be a video chat partnership with Skype, the company has blocked a Google Chrome extension which allowed users to export their friends list to Google+.

Developed by Mohamed Mansour, the Facebook Friend Exporter collected the contact info to your Facebook friends and exported it to a text file or directly into your Gmail contact list. This, of course, made the transition to Google+ all that easier. But according to Mansour, Facebook made short work of the extension.

"Facebook is trying so hard to not allow you to export your friends. They started to remove emails of your friends from your profile by today July 5th 2011. It will no longer work for many people," Mansour writes on the extension homepage.

However, there is a fix in the works. Mansour promises a "new version with a different design." But for it to function properly, daily exports may be necessary. "It uses a different approach," he writes, "and I will maintain this version."

Adding, "Just bear with me."

Although this extension blockade appears to be a desperate reaction to the launch of Google+, Facebook has always left user information under dubious control. And perhaps in response to the flaky access users had with their own privacy and data, Google also launched Takeout which allows users to harvest their personal information and export it from various Google services.

Greater control? Better UI? Solid integration into Google Services and Android devices with an iPhone app on the way? Sounds like Facebook has more to worry about than just users exporting friend information.

And here's Exhibit A.

(See also: Google+ Can't Keep Up with "Insane Demand" and Google+ Vs. Facebook: The Early Reviews Are In)

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