Facebook opens the walled garden door; Here's how you download your data

Facebook opens the walled garden door; Here's how you download your data

Summary: The service is built off of Facebook's Graph API and pulls down photos, videos and posts into a zip file.

SHARE:
7

Updated: Facebook on Wednesday said it will allow its users to take their information to another service, via a feature called "download your information."

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that people should take their data "wherever they want." The service, which will roll out later today, is built off of Facebook's Graph API and pulls down photos, videos and posts into a zip file. Sounds pretty handy.

Gallery: How to download your Facebook data

The move is an interesting one. For starters, Facebook's move will be well received. Folks may not actually take their information away from Facebook, but they will certainly appreciate the option. By opening up data portability, Facebook is more likely to keep people in the fold. Just because a door is open doesn't mean you'll leave.

Other key points:

  • Facebook is also planning an apps dashboard that will highlight applications that have permissions so you can manage them.
  • Download you information will verify your identity before moving data via password, confirmation and CAPTCHA. The feature rolls out today.
  • Facebook is apparently allowing you to map your social graph to the real-world friend network via an algorithm. Potentially creepy, but could be effective. In a blog post, Zuckerberg primarily outlined the new Groups feature.

But the real headliner is the Facebook data to zip file move. Overall, the data portability move is a good one.

A few key questions:

  • How many folks will actually download their data beyond photos?
  • How much does download your data help Facebook in the perception and PR department? (Hint: A lot).
  • Can Facebook implement this feature in a way that won't confuse anyone?

So far, the downloading of your data seems pretty straightforward.

Head to account settings...

You'll get an option for download your data. Then request download...

Facebook prepares data...

Download zip file once you verify your identity...

After you unzip, you get a Facebook page with your local data.

Topic: Social Enterprise

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

7 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Is this a US only thing?

    Doesn't seem to be available here in Canada ...

    Ludo
    Ludovit
    • RE: Facebook opens the walled garden door; Here's how you download your data

      @Ludovit Same question here, not showing up here in Europe either.
      d.s.williams
  • RE: Facebook opens the walled garden door; Here's how you download your data

    Is this simply an offline version of Facebook (HTML based) where the package contains separate photos and separate text based pages that I can navigate through in Windows Explorer or OS X Finder?
    PollyProteus
  • RE: Facebook opens the walled garden door; Here's how you download your data

    hmm
    why will I need this? I put al the info there Myself, the photos, the contacts, So I already have it on my pc.
    And if I delete my Facebook account, I will not migrate that info anywhere else...
    So what is it for?
    ivantexa3
    • why will I need this?

      @ivantexa3 When you receive notifications, you are onyl sent comments by other users, not your own, so you have no record of that text, other than on FB itself, and you may, for example, want a local record of which photos you have uploaded, or something like that.
      d.s.williams
  • RE: Facebook opens the walled garden door; Here's how you download your data

    Hi Larry- Wondering if you know when us common folk will see this on our FB account settings. Nice article!

    Jody
    ZonieSocialMedia
  • good idea about facebook

    Good post, and I learn more about it. We supply various brands of camera and camcorder batteries, including Canon, Casio, Fuji, JVC, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Sumsung and other brands. Buy Buy <a href="http://www.dealingway.com/Wholesale-jvc_c247">jvc camcorder battery</a> from dealingway at wholesale price.zHMU3
    gavin.chan