Facebook has added a new download button in your account that will help you move all your data out of Facebook as a zip file. It will have all your photos, videos, status messages, events and everything else that you may have ever uploaded to Facebook.
The process, as demonstrated in the following video, is extremely simple. Just go to your Account Settings page and click the “Download Your Information” link.
If you have been staying away from Facebook all this while because it was a one-way street, now is a good time to reconsider that decision because the data lock-in problem has been solved.
There are however some things that you won’t find in the zip file. These include:
1. Your photos uploaded by other people
Facebook lets you download stuff that you have uploaded but if there are pictures of you on Facebook that were uploaded by your friends, they won’t be available in the zip.
2. Facebook Phonebook
Facebook provides a neatly formatted phonebook with contact numbers all your friends who have shared them on Facebook. You will miss this data in the exported zip but there’s a workaround. Later, you can import this file into Excel or Google Docs, strip the unnecessary text and you again have a nice list of names alongwith phone numbers.
Update: Sorry but Facebook seems to have removed the phone book page recently.
3. Email Addresses of Friends
This I think is another important piece that you’ll miss in the exported data – email addresses of your existing Facebook contacts. If you move to another social site, how do you invite your existing network to the new place when you don’t have their email addresses.
Facebook doesn’t offer a way for you to export contacts but you can use this trick to get all the email addresses out of Facebook without breaking any rules. Connect your Facebook account with your Yahoo! Address Book and you’ll get the data you are looking for.