Emigrating from Facebook (2022)

by Teodor Costăchioiu

I don’t think it’s a secret anymore that Facebook is becoming a big mess, a cancer of the Internet. It is a place where content is moderated in line with “community standards” and where you get your ass kicked if you dare to express an opinion they disagree with. A place where algorithms show you what they want you to see and hide your friends’ posts.

Overall, it’s becoming an increasingly toxic place, and it’s worth “migrating” to other friendlier platforms.

How hard is it to move from Facebook to other platforms? Well, it’s quite difficult, with problems, but it’s not impossible.

Today I’m going to show you a few ways to export information from Facebook and transfer it to other services.

Downloading all information from Facebook

I have become less active on Facebook than I was a few years ago, and I try to avoid the Zucc as much as possible. That’s one of the reasons I started this blog, to write whatever comes into my head without worrying about being censored by some dumb robots.

However, I do make a habit of downloading a backup of my Facebook activity from time to time so that I don’t miss anything if my account ever gets locked or deleted.

To download a backup of all your Facebook data, follow these steps:

Select the profile or page you want to back up and go to https://www.facebook.com/dyi/

Under Select file options, you can choose between HTML format, which is easier for humans to interpret, and JSON format, which can be useful for importing data into other platforms later.

  • I usually download the data in HTML format. So far I have not found any application or plugin that can extract all the information from the JSON format. There must be such a module, but I couldn’t find it.
  • In Media Quality I always choose the best quality (high).
  • For the time period I choose either the whole time since I’ve been active on Facebook or the time since the last backup, depending on how I wish to keep the data.

Next, under Select information to download, leave all options checked.

Finally, click on Start your download. You will now have to wait for the notification from Facebook about the completion of the backup.

Download the data and store it in a good place 🙂

How to move from Facebook to other platforms

To transfer information from Facebook to another service you will go to https://www.facebook.com/tyi/.

In my opinion, the most interesting possibilities are exporting Facebook articles to WordPress (with Jetpack installed), Google Docs, or Blogger.com, Google’s free blogging service. You can also export photos and videos to Google Photos or Dropbox.

When exporting to WordPress, Blogger, and Google Docs, I only had good results with text-only posts.

Articles are automatically imported as drafts, with a title like Imported post: Facebook Post: 2022-10-20T16:18:36.

Images are either lost or very small.

The resolution of imported images is 720 x 480 for importing into WordPress. Images are placed at the end of the article, not automatically set as featured images.

When exporting to Blogger the images appear in the article with the long side at 220 pixels. The whole process went extremely slow; I waited a month to transfer about 500 posts.

When moving from Facebook to Google Docs each article is imported into a separate document. When you complete the import, you will be left with several hundred or thousands of separate documents. The images are put separately in a folder in Google Drive, with a link to the image at the end of the document.

In all these situations the images retrieved by OpenGraph are lost. As such, from an article that was shared on Facebook, only the link remains.

Comments on posts are lost. Putting links in the first comment strikes back.

If we choose to transfer data to Google Photos or Dropbox, we can only transfer images and videos, not text. The quality of images and footage is very good.

All in all, no matter which service you choose to transfer your Facebook information to, you will have a lot of problems to overcome. However, it’s easier to do this than to transfer information manually with copy-paste, especially when there are hundreds or thousands of posts.

Bonus: To download everything you’ve posted on Instagram go to https://www.instagram.com/download/request/.

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

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