Fb quietly eliminated a function that allowed customers to export and sync their pals’ birthdays to an exterior calendar like iCal, Outlook, or Google Calendar.
When you can nonetheless export upcoming occasions — events, get-togethers, and the like — the power to save lots of birthdays was gone as of Sunday, July 7, in keeping with Rodrigo Ghedin of the Brazilian tech weblog Handbook do Usuário, who first reported the change.
Fb’s birthday reminders have lengthy been one among its hottest options, serving to ensure you by no means miss a good friend or liked one’s big day. Birthdays are one of many few items of non-public knowledge required to begin a brand new Fb account.
The social networking large has expanded birthday-related options over time, permitting customers to boost cash for a trigger on their birthday or create customized movies to want somebody a cheerful birthday. The social community typically sends customers push notifications about pals’ birthdays, hoping it’s going to drive engagement on the platform.
However birthday reminders are additionally one thing that tether many individuals to Fb. As Fb faces growing scrutiny over the way it handles customers’ personal knowledge and folks transfer to delete their accounts, the community is now primarily holding your mates’ birthdays hostage. You’ll be able to depart, however you’ll be able to’t take the one that you love birthday calendar with you. Fb, it appears, owns that knowledge.
It’s not clear when Fb eliminated the birthday export function. Its FAQ now says you’ll be able to solely export Fb occasions to your exterior calendar.
Based on a Wayback Machine archive, the identical web page stated you can export birthdays as not too long ago as April.
An archive of Fb FAQ’s web page from April.
An archived model of the German-language FAQ web page mentioned the birthday-export function as not too long ago as June, in keeping with Handbook do Usuário.
Fb nonetheless lets you obtain all of your data, together with chat logs, images, movies, and extra — however that possibility will solely export occasions you’ve created or despatched an RSVP to. Your pals’ birthdays aren’t part of your individual private Fb report.
We’ve reached out to a Fb spokesperson to listen to if the corporate is planning on bringing the function again ultimately, however have but to listen to again. We’ll replace this story if we obtain a response.