Download a copy of your social media data as a backup

A Monday morning tip. If you are active on Social Media and you have been posting a lot, a good idea will be to download all your data as a backup from #Twitter, #Facebook & #Google. These services make it easy to download your data across their services.

You request the data, through the services settings page and they will email you once the compressed file containing all your data (posts, likes, images, etc.) is ready. In the email, you will find a link to download the actual file. Remember, the file size can be huge, so do this on a broadband connection.

By posting this, I am not implying anything is going to happen to these services. No!

I am recommending this as a good habit, like a regular backup most of us do of our precious data. Of course, Twitter, Facebook & Google are likely to keep our data safer than us – from getting destructed in natural calamities or getting lost or infected by malware due to their world-class infrastructure. Downloading your data every year once or so you will have access to your data always and protect yourself from any of these happenings:

  1. If they decide to charge for the storage and we forget to download it before the deadline,
  2. or if we lose access to our account due to whatever reason,
  3. or as a post-our-life asset to our children (will they care, I don’t know!),
  4. or for plain archiving for posterity and so on.

Many of these services allow the data to be downloaded in machine-readable formats like  JSON. This way it will be super easy to open the data in an application like Microsoft Excel or write a program in Python to do any kind of data analysis.

Twitter page to download an archive of your data
Twitter page to download an archive of your data
Google takeout (an awesome tool that is comprehensive) to download your data across Google's services like Android, GMail, Maps and so on.
Google takeout (an awesome tool that is comprehensive) to download your data across Google’s services like Android, GMail, Maps and so on.
Facebook Page (Step 1) to download your profile information
Facebook Page (Step 1) to download your profile information
Facebook Page (Step 2) that gives you options between HTML or JSON file formats
Facebook Page (Step 2) that gives you options between HTML or JSON file formats

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