It’s quite a stunning observation that 72% of all people consider their photos and videos as their most valuable digital assets. And many of these images are stored on Facebook. In fact, Facebook can be considered one of the most popular photo albums around worldwide.
There are many reasons for this popularity. Firstly: you can upload your photos from anywhere. Pictures that you take on your fabulous excursion swimming on that exotic location surrounded by dolphins are online as soon as you’re back in your hotel room. And while you check if the upload was successful, you can have a look at that previous holiday or at your hilarious birthday party.
Secondly: as soon as you’ve uploaded your photos, your close friends and family can admire them as well. That way, to them it feels as if they are there with you and they were swimming right next to you. They can like your photo, add some comments and discuss what you will be doing the following days. Not something you’re likely to do on other online albums.
Thirdly: you don’t have to worry that your album will be lost next week or next year. Facebook is here to stay, and that won’t change anytime soon. Your photos are probably as safe on the Facebook servers as they would be in your own cupboard.
And - last but not least - Facebook is, unlike many dedicated photo sites, completely free!
So there is really no apparent reason not to choose for Facebook as your favorite online photo album. But that does not mean you should just put every picture online, especially if it would be the only place you save your pictures. Let’s have a look at some considerations that you may want to make, along with some possible solutions.
This news shouldn’t be a surprise to you anymore: unless you do something about it, all your pictures are right there to be viewed by the entire world. That’s the bad news. The good news is that it’s rather easy to do something about that. By clicking on the Settings button (the button with the arrow, in the top right hand corner of your screen, next to the lock pictogram) you can get access to the Facebook settings. On that page, you can select the Privacy settings on the left hand side of the screen. In this Privacy Page, you can select who gets to see whatever you post from now on, as well as what you have posted so far.
You can even opt to make your posts available to yourself only, if you really want to use Facebook as a private photo album. But that would exclude your friends from all other types of posts as well, which is usually a bridge too far if you use Facebook as a social network as well. One solution would be to create a separate account for your photos only. But you can also apply the access restrictions to your photo albums, and leave the rest of your Facebook settings as they are. You can do this by clicking on the grey pictogram next to the album titles and then selecting who should see this album.
Better safe than sorry
Having a copy of your photos is always a good idea (as is having a copy of any file, but that’s an entirely different story). Maybe you are doing this already, and maybe your Facebook photos are in fact a backup of your photos on your desktop or storage device. But if you are one of the countless users who have their photos stored on Facebook only, you may want to consider having a backup of your albums. Not because we predict an unavailability of Facebook anytime soon. But rather because a backup is always a good idea, even with a reliable and powerful social network such as Facebook. Just imagine a scenario where you would like to view some photos but the network connectivity is completely unavailable. Or you may one day want to withdraw your photos from Facebook entirely, because of changes in Facebook’s policy.
You will be glad to know, then, that it’s rather easy to make a copy of all your Facebook photos as well. In order to do so, you click on the arrow next to the lock in the top right hand corner of your Facebook page and select Settings. Just below the list of General Account Settings, click the instruction ‘Download a copy’. On the resulting page, click the button ‘Download Archive’ and enter your password to validate the request. You will then receive a mail with a link to the requested download.
Where to store your backup?
Making a spare copy of your photos is just one step. Selecting where to store them is another important decision. A good option would be Seagate’s Backup Plus Ulra Slim. This portable, extremely compact hard drive provides up to 2 TB of storage space. The modular design makes it easy to carry this drive with you wherever you go. And the built-in Seagate Backup app allows you to back up your photos on all other mobile devices as well.