I have Facebook, you probably have Facebook. Most people in the developed world have Facebook. However, very few people have ever taken the time to download their Facebook data.
Why would you want to download your Facebook data? And what does it even mean to download your Facebook data? Here are a few reasons why downloading your Facebook data is a useful activity:
-You can see all of the information Facebook knows about you, including your likes and dislikes, the advertisements you like to click on, and the locations from which you’ve signed on
-Facebook keeps a database of the places from where you’ve signed in over the last few weeks. This is an easy way to spot unauthorized third party connections, and it also allows you to see the device that was used to sign in
-You can review message history in one single Notepad document
-You can see all the pictures, albums, and videos you’ve ever uploaded to Facebook. This is actually a decent way to recover pictures that you may have lost if your hard drive crashed. However, keep in mind that the pictures are low resolution and compressed, so it’s not a perfect way to recover photos.
-Basically, you can instantly view all of the personal data that Facebook has collected about you over the year.
How to download your Facebook data
Step 1) Click the gear button at the top right corner of any Facebook page and click Account Settings
Step 2) Click General in the left-hand column
Step 3) Click Download a copy of your Facebook data”
Step 4) Click Start My Archive
Facebook will begin preparing your data for download and will email you when that data has been prepared. I have no idea what Facebook is doing with this step, but it took a few minutes for me. Once your data is ready, it will arrive in a downloadable package anywhere from 50MB to 500MB in size.
Your data will arrive in a compressed folder. Extract that folder and you’ll see about ten different .txt documents for all different parts of your Facebook page, including Friends, Messages, Photos, and more. That’s your Facebook data, and it collectively represents everything Mark Zuckerberg and his friends know about you.
Some people download Facebook data to see which friends have deleted them. You can download your data this month, and then download it next month to see if any names have been removed from the ‘Friends’ area. That Friends Notepad document also lists your pending friend requests and any incoming friend requests.
Downloading your Facebook statistics isn’t as useful as some people think, but it does provide some interesting insight into the data that Facebook knows about all of us. You can look back to your early days of Facebook with a single click and wonder what was wrong with you back in high school, for example. Or, as some people do, you can delete your account after learning that Facebook knows way too much about your personal life.