Open-Xchange began its life as a hosted email service but has since evolved with a twist: its engineers have figured out a relatively simple process to extract your contacts from Facebook and LinkedIn. It is based on the SaaS pay hosted service, but there is a free service you can use for your contact extraction.

So if you are trying to migrate a bunch of your contacts into Google+, or move from Facebook to someplace else, you might have found that this isn’t an easy process.

NOTE: Today, July 11, Facebook notified OX that they have shut down the export feature, claiming it violates their terms of service. OX’s CEO Rafael Laguna stated: “From a technical standpoint, Facebook’s claim of violation of terms is preposterous. All we are doing is using the Facebook API to extract the last name and first name fields. We are not parsing or scraping the email address. That same data is available on Facebook under Account->Account Settings->Download Your Information in the resulting friends.html file. This is not about user experience. It is about Facebook NOT wanting anyone to control their personal information – except Facebook.”

There are a few products that can do this now, including, and Plaxo’s Pulse. But these only create yet another proprietary Web service that you are locked into using, and can’t easily extract your data if you don’t want to use the service any longer.

Here are the step-by-step directions how to do the export and bring them into your free OX.IO account. You can see the broad range of accounts that it will handle from the screenshot below.

Read the instructions carefully and realize that this export won’t happen immediately — mine took several days but that was a few years ago when they were just starting this service.

Once your export is finished (you’ll get an email notification), you can merge your contacts and further export them to a Web page or CSV file for further analysis or your own use. And the service is free.

Disclosure:I did some custom consulting work for the company several years ago.