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Facebook is a social networking site whose popularity has exploded in recent years. As of February 2012, there are more than 845 million active users of the site. Facebook hosts untold billions of users' photos, videos, thoughts, conversations, and other content.
The judicious user will have a well-designed backup plan for all that content that they retain full control over, but it is a reasonable assumption that the majority of users rely totally on Facebook to safeguard their data. This is a mistake.
It might seem completely unthinkable that a site as massive and as popular as Facebook could ever disappear, taking your data with it. The reality is that websites, even hugely popular ones, can decline in popularity over time and eventually go away, taking your data with them with little or no warning. We've seen it happen.
While Facebook may not be in any immediate danger, you should consider that the data you put on Facebook may be immensely important to you in 10 or 20 years, similar to your family's photo albums. Facebook could be long dead by then. Start planning for this eventuality right now.
Download Your Data From Facebook
Facebook has created a tool to download an entire archive of your Facebook account. This includes all of your own photos and videos, chat conversations, messages, status updates and wall posts. It does NOT include photos and videos belonging to other people even if you are tagged in them, so do keep that in mind.
To create your archive, click the little down arrow next to your name in the upper right area of the page and go to "account settings". You should then see a screen like the one below:
The next screen will explain what's going on. Press "Start my Archive" and you will be presented with a popup telling you that this might take a few minutes. Press Start again and Facebook will generate the file for you. This may indeed take several minutes. In the mean time you can continue using Facebook as usual. They will email you when the archive is ready for download.
more here soon.
Former unofficial Backup tools
- FriendCSV exports your contacts to CSV files.
- Facedown downloads photo albums from Facebook.
This leaves wall, profile information and the plethora of Facebook apps out in the cold. Perhaps a backup app could be written for Facebook from within Facebook using the applications framework.