Whoah. Until now there hasn’t been a way to download info off of Facebook, but at today’s Facebook event in Palo Alto, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a feature that allows users to port their data from Facebook in a .zip file, “People own and have control over all info they put into Facebook and “Download Your Information” enables people to take stuff with them,” says Zuckerberg.
“Download Your Information” is groundbreaking as the premise behind the Diaspora Project is that it is the “open” portable Facebook. As of today it seems like Facebook is the “open” portable Facebook, as the company now feels secure enough to let users leave with info intact.
Facebook Product Manager David Recordon explains that you can access the “Download Your Information” feature from your account settings, hit the download button (see above) and Facebook will allow you to download everything off your profile, including your friends list, events, all of your messages, wall posts and all of your photos into a zip file.
Downloading your profile in this way does not delete it from the site, but simply provides you with a copy. Users wishing to erase their data entirely will have to go through the process of deleting their entire Facebook profile, separately from “Download Your Information.”
Recordon emphasizes that the product will be simple enough for laymen to use, a one click process.
More importantly, when asked during the Q&A whether a Facebook user could ostensibly download their information and then reupload it to a site other than Facebook, Zuckerberg answered:
“At a high level we’ve built two different things, Facebook Connect — which is our real effort to bring our sites to other sites, and “Download Your Information” where you can download your information and upload it to another site. Stuff that you put into the site, you should be able to take out.”
“Download Your Information” should be rolling out to all users beginning today.