• Facebook launched a new photo transfer tool in the US and Canada on Thursday that allows users to copy all of their photos and videos over to other services.
  • The tool originally launched last December, and currently only supports Google Photos.
  • Facebook says the tool will support Microsoft, Apple, Twitter, and more when it rolls out globally.
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Social media has turned all of us into amateur photographers, but with all of the platforms we use on a daily basis, it’s difficult to keep track of which photos were uploaded where. In order to alleviate this problem (and others similar to it), Facebook and a bunch of other major internet companies teamed up for an initiative called the Data Transfer Project in 2018 “to create an open-source, service-to-service data portability platform so that all individuals across the web could easily move their data between online service providers whenever they want.”

In early December, Facebook made a contribution to the project by introducing a photo transfer tool to let Facebook users transfer photos and videos to other services, and Google Photos would be the first service that it would support. Initially, the tool was only available in a few areas, but expanded throughout Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Africa in February and March. Now, at long last, the tool is available in the US and Canada.

If you want to try out the photo transfer tool, here are the six steps you need to follow:

  1. Go to Your Facebook Information in your Facebook Settings
  2. Select Transfer a Copy of Your Photos or Videos from the menu
  3. Enter your Facebook password to verify your identity
  4. Choose a destination for your photos or videos from the dropdown menu
  5. Click Next and sign in to Google, then click Confirm Transfer on Facebook

Once you have completed this process, you will get a notification on Facebook and in your email inbox as soon as the transfer is finished. If you choose to use the tool, you will never again have to jump between the two services to find a photo or video you think you might have uploaded on Facebook six years ago.

“We want to build practical portability solutions people can trust and use effectively,” Facebook said. “To foster that trust, people and online services need clear rules about what kinds of data should be portable and who is responsible for protecting that data as it moves to different services. We hope this product can help advance conversations on the privacy questions we identified in our white paper.”

Speaking to The Verge, Facebook also revealed that “people will also be able to transfer photos to Microsoft, Apple, Twitter, and other companies that join the Data Transfer Program” when the tool launches globally later this year, but the company did not offer any hint at when exactly that might happen.

Jacob started covering video games and technology in college as a hobby, but it quickly became clear to him that this was what he wanted to do for a living. He currently resides in New York writing for BGR. His previously published work can be found on TechHive, VentureBeat and Game Rant.