Facebook quietly rolled out the photo transfer tool it began testing last December in the U.S. and Canada this week.
The social network kicked off testing of the tool in Ireland last December, enabling people to transfer their photos and videos from the social network directly to other online services, beginning with Google Photos.
Director of privacy and public policy Steve Satterfield wrote in a Newsroom post at the time, “At Facebook, we believe that if you share data with one service, you should be able to move it to another. That’s the principle of data portability, which gives people control and choice while also encouraging innovation. Today, we’re releasing a tool that will enable Facebook users to transfer their Facebook photos and videos directly to other services, starting with Google Photos.”
Facebook has since quietly updated last December’s Newsroom post three times, revealing Feb. 20 that the photo transfer tool was expanded to countries in Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region; adding more countries in Africa, the European Union (including the U.K.), Latin America and Southeast Asia March 10; and adding Canada and the U.S. Thursday (April 30).
Satterfield told Nandita Bose of Reuters this week that Facebook has been urged by regulators to make it easy for its users to choose new providers and move their data to those providers, saying, “It really is an important part of the response to the kinds of concerns that drive antitrust regulation or competition regulation,” and adding that the social network intends to expand the process to data such as contacts and friends lists.