Facebook announced a new product that will allow users to download their information stored on the social network and create a local copy of it.
The new product, called Download Your Information, is built on top of Facebook’s Graph application programming interface and includes wall posts, photos and status updates among other types of content. It creates a compressed ZIP file.
“You really will have a copy of all your information in one place,” said David Recordon, Facebook’s senior open programs manager. “We built this product as something that’s useful for people, not for other developers.”
In doing so, the company is addressing a long-held criticism of its control over the social graph. While the company let third-party developers access user data temporarily, it stopped short of letting users create a permanent copy of their information. The risk was that users could take their information and potentially migrate to another service. Perhaps now the company feels that its market power is significant enough that such a product no longer threatens its dominance and is in the interest of its users.