Quick Tip: Download an Archive of your Facebook Data

There’s a lot going on on the Internet right now. Websites getting hacked (Blizzard being the most recent), companies doing presumably whatever they want with our data, and the cultivation of a group of people who over-share (this includes yours truly). I’ve written a bit on Facebook and other social media and how I think it’s affecting our culture. What I haven’t seen a lot of is writing on what’s called, “Data Liberation.” This is, retrieving your data from the social networks you use so often.

While some websites don’t even let you view all of your posts (I’m looking at you, Twitter), some sites like Facebook and Google make it pretty easy to get your data from them. Here’s how you do it on Facebook:

  1. Login to Facebook and click the down arrow next to “Home” in the top right corner
  2. Click Account Settings
  3. Click “Download a Copy of your Facebook data” at the bottom of the General Account Settings info
  4. Click the green button that says “Start My Archive.”

Depending on how long you’ve been using Facebook, this could take a while so sit tight. They will email you when your archive is ready.

What’s Included?

Good question! They do give you a rundown on the Download page, but in short, it includes:

  • Your Photos and Videos
  • Your Wall posts, messages and chat conversations
  • Your friends’ names and (if they have shared it with you) email addresses

There is also the option to download the expanded archive. Here is what’s included in that.