If there’s one truth about social media, it is that everything lives online forever. While that is mostly true, do not take a chance on losing your social media postings. Whether it is a fear of a hacker erasing your history or a social networking site purging your data, having a backup can be a lifesaver. For some, taking a screenshot of their tweets or Instagram posts counts as a “backup,” but there are better methods that are verified. Let’s take a look at some of the best methods for downloading a hard copy of your social media history, for better or worse.
Facebook is likely home to a good chunk of your social media history with everything from family photos to nights out with friends. Keeping those memories forever is a smart move so you can always look back, but how do you back up years of Facebook history?
1. Log into Facebook.
2. Click on your profile photo in the corner and select “Settings & Privacy.”
3. Now, look for a menu option on the left hand side of the screen labeled “Your Facebook Information.”
4. Find the option to “Download Your Information,” and you are almost there.
The next step(s) are a little more personalized, and it is up to you choose what is best. Facebook makes it possible to download all of your history, including posts, photos, group and marketplace messages and so much more. There is also the ability to grab your entire history or any data for a timeframe of your choosing.
Like Facebook, Twitter is also a potential place that hosts a large part of your social media history. It is a good thing that they, too, make it super easy to download all of your historical content.
1. Enter Settings via Twitter.com and look for the option labeled “Your Twitter data.”
2. There are a few options here that Twitter offers to help be as transparent as possible. You can view your account’s device or location history as well as any relevant advertisement data.
3. You can search all of that later on. We are only interested in the menu option listed below, “Download an archive of your data.”
4. Click on “Request archive” and wait. Twitter will send you a link to your registered email address to download the entire content of your account.
5. To protect against malicious behavior, Twitter only allows this request to occur once every 30 days.
While it might be tempting to just screengrab all of your posts on Instagram, that is unnecessarily time-consuming. Luckily, Instagram makes it easy to do on the Web and from its smartphone app.
On the Web
1. Go to your profile and click on the Settings button.
2. Find “Privacy and Security” and click on it.
3. Scroll down until you see “Data Download” and click on “Request Download.”
4. Now enter the email address you would like to have your data delivered to as well as your Instagram password to verify your account.
5. Sit back and wait for the email titled “Your Instagram Data” and a website link to said data. Once you hit the link, locate and click on “Download Data” and follow the rest of the instructions.
From iOS or Android
1. Go to your profile and click on the “hamburger” menu that looks like three horizontal lines stacked on top of one another.
2. Tap the settings button, and then tap “Security > Download Data.”
3. Enter your email address where you would like your account history delivered and then hit “Request Download.”
4. Verify your account by entering your password.
5. Similar to the website request, you will receive an email labeled “Your Instagram Data” and a link for downloading.
It should be noted that Instagram indicates it could be as much as 48 hours before an email is received.
While LinkedIn is traditionally more business-oriented than personal, you never know when a backup of this data will be handy. The instructions for doing so are shown below:
1. Select the “Me” icon at the top of your LinkedIn page and then select “Settings & Privacy.”
2. Click on the Privacy tab at the top of the page.
3. Underneath the “How LinkedIn uses your data” section, click on “Getting a copy of your data.” Note that LinkedIn might require you to sign in to your account again to verify your identity.
4. Once you are on the “Download your data” page, you can select which data to download. This includes your connections, private messages, profile and articles you may have written.
There is no hard and fast rule for how frequently or infrequently you should download your data. It is likely a good rule of thumb to download the data at least once a month and replace the past download. That way you are always up to date and, if some data goes missing, it is likely only from the past thirty days.