While privacy-savy users might think about ways to remove their data from social networks like Facebook, the average geek is much more worried about losing such data against his will. Enter SocialSafe, a handy tool which backs up all your Facebook data on your local computer. Easier said than done you might think — but the joint venture beween British online experts iBundle and 1minus1 does a nice job for a very low price.
But why would you want to backup your Facebook data at all? There are many good reasons, the most important being that one day your account just might disabled. Happens a lot these days, sometimes because users violate the TOS, sometimes because some algorithm triggers a false alarm. SocialSafe is an Adobe Air based client that stores Facebook data offline and tracks changes between single “snapshots”. After the installation and the initial authentication the program generates a snapshot of one’s current contacts, wall, photo albums and profile information. SocialSafe ain’t free, but it’s still one of the best things in social media life, and €2,48 for a two-computer license definitely is a steal. This video explains the basics (actually, this covers pretty much everything that can be said about this simple yet helpfull app):
The first backup takes a while, depending on your number of photos. From there on, SocialSafe does incremental backups. This means that only the differences between the previous and the current backup are stored, allowing an interesting function: the program keeps track of the users friends and filters the list for “lost” and “found” friends. So SocialSafe not only backs up all the data but also generates an account “history”:
The software is quite fresh, and there are still a few items on the wishlist: currently, there is no way to trigger a full backup manually, videos and private messages are ignored and, in my case, the wall backup didn’t work. But the team seems quite motivated, and they are working on an update right now:
We are however continuing our work to fully utilise Facebook’s apis so that you can export/backup all that you have created for your Facebook .. and expanding SocialSafe’s capabilities to include the backing up of your data on other social networks. But it’s not just about backing up. It would be very easy for us to simply export everything into one unreadable file and store it somewhere on your computer as a backup, but what use is that if you can’t view it? We have been working busily over the last few months on a better way to view this backed up information.
Good work guys — this year, the Easter Bunny forgot again to bring me my Facebook export function, and since Mark Zuckerberg probably won’t deliver, I’m glad you guys are filling the gap!