Whether you want to keep an archive of tweets, need all your Facebook photos or are simply curious, many social networks give you the option of downloading your user data.
So, with that in mind, we show you how to download your data (you may be surprised at the size of your archives!).
The world's most popular social network has come under fire for the way its privacy issues, but it does offer a comprehensive download feature.
And there are just a few short steps to grab your data.
- Click the downward-pointing arrow to the right of the "home" option.
- Select "account settings".
- Click "download a copy of your Facebook data" under "General Account Settings".
- Click "start my archive" to initiate the download.
The default download setting will include photos and videos shared, wall posts, messages, chat conversations, friends' names and email addresses.
Comments made on other people's status updates and friends' photos are not included in the data archive.
The "expanded archive" option (found on the same screen as "start my archive") also includes your login history, IP addresses used, poke information and more.
It appears that the micro-blog doesn't have any real way to archive your profile data, necessitating the use of third-party tools for the job.
One such web tool is Tweetbackup, which (as the name implies) lets you download your user information.
- Visit the website and sign in with your Twitter login information.
- You'll then need to authorise the application to use your Twitter account.
- From here, you can synchronise your user data for safe-keeping.
It's a useful tool but it does have a downside, requiring you to follow the TweetBackup Twitter account. Despite this, the service is still worth considering.
Chances are you won't have much user data on Google's nascent social network, but for hardcore users and Google fanatics, the ability to download your data is welcomed.
- Click the gear at the top of the page then hit "settings".
- Select the option on the left-hand side called "data liberation".
Google gives you quite a few options for data, letting you save Picasa albums, profile info, streams, circles and contacts as well as Voice data. Or you could just download all your data with the "download your data" button.
Are there any tools and services you'd recommend? Let us know in the comments!