Facebook is attempting to answer critics who say it is maintaining a “walled garden” by adding a feature that lets users download all of their information from the social-networking website, to do with as they please.
The company introduced the feature on Wednesday, saying it was one of the most requested capabilities by users.
“One aspect of controlling what you share is the ability to have a copy of your information no matter whether you’ve shared it, whether that is on Facebook or any other service on the web,” the company said in a statement.
“[Facebook’s] Platform has been a powerful way for you to remain in control over sharing your information and to have social experiences all over the web. Download your information will build on this and allow people to download a copy of their information, giving people more control over their … experience.”
Users and competitors such as Google have criticized the social-networking website for keeping its members’ information largely inaccessible to the rest of the web. Facebook makes a good portion of its revenue by targeting ads to users based on information found in their profiles.
Allowing users to download their profiles, including photos, wall posts, status updates and messages, could clear the way for them to upload the information to a competing service. Third parties such as Google, however, will still not have access to profiles unless users make them available. http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2010/10/06/facebook-groups-downloading.html