Facebook is a great way to stay connected with friends and family, but it’s not exactly all it used to be. Today, Instagram launched Threads, its new Twitter competitor, and other networks have long since surpassed Facebook in popularity.
If you’re looking for a more private and secure way to store your photos and posts (depending on who you ask and how they feel about Google) or just want to abandon ship and shutter your account without losing all of your content, you may want to consider transferring them to Google’s ecosystem. While that may sound as strange to you as it did to me and you had no idea this was possible, let me explain, because it’s actually kind of neat.
To transfer your Facebook posts to Google, follow these steps
- Go to Facebook and click on the down arrow in the top right corner of the page. Then select “Settings & Privacy” followed by “Settings.”
- Within the settings menu, click on the ‘view’ button next to “Transfer a copy of your information.”
- Under “Choose destination”, choose the service you wish to transfer to.
- Click “Choose what to transfer” and select the posts and/or notes you want to transfer.
- Sign in to your Google account and grant Facebook permission to access your Google Docs (or Photos, etc) library by clicking “Allow.”
- Confirm the transfer by clicking “Confirm transfer.”
- Before long, you’ll start to see your content flood Docs or Photos, etc.
If you have a rich Facebook history and choose to send your stuff over to Docs, you’ll see a load of dated documents that you’ll either need to rename or accept for what they are. Luckily, they’re inside of a special folder in your Google Drive, though they do clutter the home screen of the service until pushed out of view by newer files.
Additionally, if you move your photos and videos over to Google Photos, they will not appear at the top of your latest feed. Instead, they will be interspersed throughout on the dates which they were taken. This is determined by the date found in the picture’s metadata, which is captured by whatever camera you used to snap it!
Anyway, while choosing what to transfer, you can select all of your content or just that which fits within a specific date range. You can also exclude notes and include posts, or vice versa if you don’t want both to come along for the ride. The transfer process will begin, and depending on the number of posts and notes you’re transferring, it may take some time to complete. Once finished, you’ll be able to see the transfer progress right on this page and after it’s complete, you will simply access your Facebook posts and notes conveniently within Google Docs and your pictures and videos in Google Photos!
Things to consider during your Google Docs transfer
There are a few aspects to consider that might make you hesitant to transfer your Facebook content to your Google account. For example, the potential clutter that may arise in your Google Drive due to the transfer is a bit overwhelming. You’ll end up with numerous dated documents, some containing only a few words or fragments of text as Facebook creates one Google Doc per post. This influx of files will definitely make it more challenging to locate specific content, but you can spend a bit of time reminiscing by reading through them in your spare time or use the search bar at the top of Docs to quickly find what you’re looking for.
Pro Tip: Once you’ve found what you want, rename the Document to something appropriate, or merge several Docs and their content together via copy and paste as a part of your daily journaling habit. You can also pop open the Keep sidebar and send information into notes, especially if it’s just a word or two. This will allow you to delete a bunch of these post Docs.
Things to consider during your Google Photos transfer
Another consideration involves captions you had on your Facebook photos. While Google Photos imported from Facebook will retain the original post’s caption and can be found in the description section of the metadata via the information icon, exporting your data through Google Takeout currently does not preserve it! As a result, captions associated with your photos will make for a great “journal entry” or descriptor, but if you leave Google Photos one day, don’t expect to have any of that come along.
I really hope Google changes this issue with Takeout and allows for caption export, because without it, it’s like scribbling out the ink on the back of a polaroid your grandmother used to jot down the names of who was in the photo and the context of what was happening!
Lastly, storage is an important factor to weigh. If you transfer posts with attached photos to Google Drive, those images will be stored there instead of or in addition to Google Photos (So far, it looks to me like they’re stored in both locations). Luckily, your Facebook posts that are converted to Docs and media that’s sent to Photos in Storage Saver mode (which is default) take zero space on your account, so the caution here is just Drive. Still, freeing your content from Facebook feels great, and lets you treat it more like an archive than something you never visit again.
Pro Tip: You can also export your Facebook events to Google Calendar (They will appear on a new Calendar called “Copy of – Facebook Events Export” and can be renamed) and your posts and notes to Blogger using this method! There are other options too like Dropbox, WordPress, Daybook for my journaling comrades out there, and even Photobucket among others!
At the end of the day, this isn’t a perfect solution, but it’s both pretty darn cool, and great for those of us who want to preserve everything in a better format with more control over it. Google may not be the most trustworthy or anything, but I still prefer all of my stuff in its ecosystem instead of Meta’s as a personal preference.