Using social media is an odd phenomenon. Vast amounts of personal information that didn’t used to be shared with the world is now instantly available online. Consider how much of your life you’ve documented on your various social media accounts. Memories shared on Facebook, bite sized updates posted to Twitter or snaps sent to Instagram.
Of course, the likelihood of these huge services just shutting down without warning or suddenly losing all your data is pretty slim. But still, this is your private data and you should have your own copy of it all.
Handily, these three social networks make it fairly simple for you to download copies of your data. All have different steps you have to take, so this guide will help you out and put you in better control of your personal information.
When logged into your Facebook account, click the gear icon at the top right of the page. From the dropdown that appears, select ‘Account Settings’. It’ll default you to ‘General Account Settings’. From here, click ‘Download a copy of your Facebook data’ at the bottom.
You’ll be greeted with a page that briefly tells you about downloading your information and what data is and isn’t included in the archive. You have the option to download the basic archive, or opt for the expanded one. The basic one includes your photos and videos, your wall posts, messages and chats, along with your friends’ names and the email addresses of those who’ve shared them. The expanded archive additionally offers details such as installed applications, IP addresses that have accessed your account and people who you’ve removed from your friends list.
When your archive is ready for download you will receive an email from Facebook informing you.
Log in to your Twitter account and click the gear in the top right of the screen. From the dropdown, select ‘Settings’. You’ll be taken to the ‘Account’ page and if you scroll to the bottom you’ll see an option to ‘Request your archive’ of personal information. This will include your data, starting with your first Tweet.
Twitter will send you an email when your archive is ready to download, available in HTML and CSV formats within the zip file.
Instagram is the only service that requires you to use a third party website, despite being owned by Facebook. A good website to use for backing up your Instagram data is Instaport.
All you need to do is sign in with your Instagram account and authorise the account connection. Then select your exporting options, like whether you want to back up everything or just photos from a select time period.
Let the site do its thing; it’ll take longer if you’ve got a lot of photos in the back up. Once done, you can download a zip file full of all your snaps.
Hopefully this guide has helped you in backing up your social media accounts. Remember to do this periodically so that you always have a copy of everything you put online – you never know when you might need an offline version of your personal information!
Backing Up Your Social Media Accounts
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