vCard Meaning & Definition

A vCard, or virtual card, is a type of file that functions as an electronic business card. They contain identifying information about a person, such as name, birthday, company, and job title, as well as contact information like phone number, email address, business URL, mailing address, and social media profiles. vCards may also contain media like photos, audio clips, and videos.

vCards have become synonymous with Virtual Card Format (VCF) files since their genesis in 1996. Although they were not universally supported at first, the Internet Mail Consortium developed and promoted vCards to become an integral part of online communications. They are predominantly stored as records in a device’s contact list and are sometimes sent as email attachments, text messages, or QR codes.

Creating a vCard

Any time a contact record is created in an iOS, Windows, or Android mobile device, that record is saved as a .vcf file extension and is therefore considered a vCard. Likewise, computer operating systems such as macOS, Windows, and Linux support vCard formats to store valuable information about a person with whom the user communicates frequently. Several platforms, such as Microsoft Outlook and Gmail, are also able to import a vCard file and translate the raw data into a more readable, user friendly format.

Examples of vCards

To use an example, a vCard file for Walt Disney could look something like this:

BEGIN:VCARD

VERSION:4.0

PRODID:-//BBros.us llc//bvCard.com//EN

N:Disney;Walter;E;;

FN:Walter E Disney

EMAIL:wdisney@disney.com

ORG:The Walt Disney Company

TEL:123-123-1234

TEL;type=FAX:123-123-1234

URL;type=pref:https://www.disney.com/

ADR:;P.O. Box 10,000;;Buena Vista;FL;32830;USA

URL:https://www.linkedin.com/in/wdisney

URL:https://www.facebook.com/walt-disney

END:VCARD

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Kaiti Norton
Kaiti Norton is a Nashville-based Content Writer for TechnologyAdvice, a full-service B2B media company. She is passionate about helping brands build genuine connections with their customers through relatable, research-based content. When she's not writing about technology, she's sharing her musings about fashion, cats, books, and skincare on her blog.

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