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Instagram will soon let users download copies of their photos and videos

Published Apr 12th, 2018 7:45AM EDT
Image: Shutterstock

Instagram is currently developing a new data portability tool that will enable users to download their entire Instagram history, according to a new report from TechCrunch. What that means is that users will be able to access all of their messages along with any photos or videos they may have uploaded to the platform over the past few years. The end result is that users who are perhaps keen on leaving Instagram, or at the very least interested in moving some of their Instagram content to a different platform, will be able to do so without having to start from scratch.

As it stands now, it remains unclear if Instagram’s new tool will also include other items like follower lists, stories, and more. The photo-sharing site, which is owned by Facebook, hasn’t provided much in the way of detail regarding the forthcoming tool but additional information should be provided sooner rather than later.

While Facebook has had a data portability tool for quite a few years now, it’s always been curious why the social networking site hasn’t rolled out a similar tool for Instagram. Regardless, the timing of Instagram’s work here isn’t all that surprising given the ongoing work Facebook is doing to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a regulation in Europe that encompasses a wide range of data privacy issues. Incidentally, compliance with the GDPR goes into effect on May 25, 2018.

As a point of interest, the GDPR section on data portability notes that users should have the right to “receive the personal data concerning him or her, which he or she has provided to a controller, in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format and have the right to transmit those data to another controller without hindrance from the controller…”

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.