Late last year Facebook launched a new service to let people more easily transfer their images and videos from the social network to other storage services. It trialled the feature in Ireland but is now rolling it out more widely, with users in the US and Canada getting access as of today.
The feature allows you to transfer your Facebook files to Google Photos if desired. It’s still planned to roll out even more widely around the globe throughout the rest of 2020.
In a blog post about the feature from its initial, Steve Satterfield, Facebook’s director of privacy and public policy, said that the tool is rooted in the principle that “if you share data with one service, you should be able to move it to another”. While users have long been able to download their data from Facebook, and could then upload it elsewhere, the new tool should make it far easier and less laborious to do so.
Google Photos is simply the first network that Facebook’s linking in, too – there are plans to expand it to account for others, as well. For now, to use the tool you simply have to go to your Facebook settings menu, then access “Your Facebook Information”, where you’ll see the new option to move your photos and videos.
Of course, the current climate means that the security of transfers like this is paramount. Satterfield details that the transfer will be encrypted, and cannot be initiated without the user in question re-entering their password, to ensure that people don’t make off with imagery without permission.
This is all part of a wider initiative in the tech industry, the “Data Transfer Project”, which aims to encourage this freedom of data movement and management. Facebook’s among other big names like Apple and Google to be contributing to the project.