The Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal has made people all the more paranoid (and rightly so) about just how much information social media services have about us. Since then, Facebook has been in massive damage control mode, panicked that people will flee its services.
Of course, Facebook is more than just Facebook. It also owns WhatsApp and Instagram. And for the latter, the company has now released a promised Data Download Tool that allows people to download and save every bit of data Instagram has about them–so they could then choose to close their Instagram account without losing any of the photos or videos they’ve posted.
The tool is also part of Instagram complying with the EU’s upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) laws, which go into effect in May. The GDPR gives EU-based users of digital services much greater control over what data of their a company has access to and what they can do with such data.
Instagram’s Data Download Tool is now available on the web, with a version of it coming to its Android and iOS apps shortly. So just how do you use the Data Download Tool? We’re glad you asked…
1) Make sure you are logged into your Instagram account in your web browser.
2) Go to the Data Download Tool webpage at https://www.instagram.com/download/request/. On this page, you’ll see a note saying “We’ll email you a link to a file with your photos, comments, profile information and more. We can only work on one request from your account at a time, and it may take up to 48 hours to collect this data and send it to you.”
3) Enter your email address in the field on the page and then click the Next button.
4) On the next page, enter your Instagram password for your account.
5) Now click the Request Download button.
Once you’ve done this Instagram will begin assembling a file with all your videos, photos, and messages and comments you’ve posted. This process could take up to 48 hours, so be patient.
Once Instagram is done, they’ll email a link to where you can download the data. Once you’ve done that, save it somewhere securely on your computer.
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