Facebook users in the UK can now move all their photos and videos stored on the social media site to Google.
The data transfer tool, which was launched in Ireland last year, means Facebook users can move their media directly to Google Photos with just a few clicks.
It also gives people who are ditching the social media site another option to keep hold of the memories that have been uploaded to the site over the years.
The new feature has been built as part of the open-source Data Transfer Project – a partnership between major tech companies that makes information hosted on one social media service available on other services.
It also supports the right to data portability, as stipulated in new digital privacy laws introduced by the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules in 2018.
‘At Facebook, we believe that if you share data with one service, you should be able to move it to another,’ said Steve Satterfield, director of Privacy and Public Policy at Facebook, in a blog post.
‘That’s the principle of data portability, which gives people control and choice while also encouraging innovation.’
The new transfer tool can be found in a user’s Facebook settings, alongside the existing tool which allows users to download a copy of all the information Facebook has on them.
Users can access the new tool in Facebook settings under the dropdown menu, accessible by clicking on a downward arrow in the corner of the homepage.
From there users need to click on ‘Your Facebook Information’ accompanied by the blue Facebook logo.
They must then select ‘Transfer a Copy of Your Photos or Videos’ followed by ‘Google Photos’ in the dropdown menu that’s titled ‘Choose Destination’.
Facebook users then have to transfer their photos and videos under separate transfers and will be relocated to their Google account to confirm before the transfer can begin.
With privacy and security in mind, users will have to enter their Google account password before a transfer is initiated.
While the new tool is built on open-source software, the data will be encrypted throughout its journey from Facebook to Google Photos and to any other platform that is added to the Data Transfer Project in the future.
Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter are all part of the Data Transfer Project, and more companies are expected to join in the future.
As the tool is built on an open-source framework, it means other companies will be able to hook into the system and allow users to transfer data between platforms without each site having to build their own tools.
This initiative will fulfil GDPR requirements to give users more flexibility over storage of and access to their data.