Facebook testing feature to let you transfer your photo to other services
A pretty useful Facebook tool is rolling out Image: PC Mag Adam Smith for PCMag 2019-12-02 20:42:48 UTC Follow @https://twitter.com/PCMag PCMag.com is a leading authority on technology, delivering Labs-based, independent reviews of the latest...
Facebook released a new tool that allows you to take all the photos you've uploaded to the social network and transfer them to another service, such as Google Photos.
Announced in a blog post, the new tool is an extension of Facebook's existing tools made available to download all your information from the site. The photo transfer feature is being rolled out today to Facebook users in Ireland, with a worldwide release schedule planned for the first six months of 2020.
The ability to download photos will be in the "Your Facebook Information" menu, within Facebook's settings. Users will be required to enter their Facebook password before the transfer starts in order to keep the data secure, the company says.
Currently, the only named service Facebook mentions in its blog post is Google Photos, easily the most widely-used photo storing platform in the world. It's currently unclear what other platforms Facebook will be working with, although Apple Photos and Flickr likely won't be far behind. We have reached out to Facebook for clarification.
Facebook has been pushing to make data easier to transfer between social media sites since September, when it published a white paper regarding privacy questions the company has been discussing. "We've had conversations with stakeholders around the world — from the UK and Germany to Brazil and Singapore — to get feedback about what data should be portable and how to ensure that we protect privacy when enabling data transfers," Facebook said.
The social network's move towards making data easier to transfer between social media sites, or downloadable by users, could be motivated by a number of reasons: regulation, such as GDPR in countries that form part of the European Union, as well as the California Consumer Privacy Act, means Facebook needs to take steps to ensure it is not a monopoly, or face fines.
The company has already added more permission screens to its main app in an attempt to better comply with legislation, but is still being invested by the New York attorney general and separately, the FTC for possible anti-trust violations.
The ability to migrate data between sites could also benefit Facebook's intention to make its subsidiary communication platforms, Instagram and WhatsApp, better integrated. The idea is that you could use your Facebook Messenger account to contact a WhatsApp user, for example, or merging user's Facebook and Instagram accounts together. This could be better for consumer security, as it means messages on Facebook that are not encrypted by default would become encrypted, as they are on WhatsApp; on the other hand, it could also solidify Facebook's position further as the giant in the social media space and could hinder competition.
With Facebook still fending off government investigations, however, such moves are likely to come later, rather than sooner.
This article originally published at PCMag here