Tech Tuesday – Facebook and Google+

It is amazing how many genealogists have been using Google+. In the past few weeks I have been ‘circled’ or I have ‘circled’ dozens of other researchers in this new social networking site. As with any new site, getting used to how to work within the site and manage everything there can be daunting. Hopefully this one tip will help make things a little easier.

If you already have a Facebook account and would like an easy way to carry your photos over to Google Plus then this tip is for you.

Sign into Facebook and look for the Account tab at the right top corner of the web page. Click on that tab and in the drop down list select “Account Settings.” You will see your name as it appears on Facebook, your email and a few other bits of information. What you want is at the bottom of that page, just under “Language” — there is a link for “Download a copy of your Facebook data.” Click on this link.

One of two things will happen here. You will either be given a message that your download is being generated or you will be asked to verify your password.

If you are told your download is being generated, you will be directed to wait for an email when the download is complete. It doesn’t take long (although my file was not huge), so check your email in 10 minutes or so. The email will have the subject line “Your download is ready.” If you are not as paranoid about clicking on links in email as I am, then go ahead and click on the link.  You will be taken to Facebook and asked to verify your password. Once you verify your password you’ll be able to download your file.

However, if you are like me and prefer not to click on the links in email, then go back to your browser, sign into Facebook (if you already signed out), and start over with the instructions above (i.e. start by clicking on the Account tab). Don’t worry— you won’t be going through all of the wait for your download and an email mumbo-jumbo again; instead, this time when you click on “Download a copy of your Facebook data” you will be asked to verify your password. Once you verify your password a green “Download Now” button will appear. Click on this button to download the file.

Either way you proceed, your file will download in .zip format. Find the file that downloaded (this will differ depending on your operating system and how you have downloads set up) and double click on it to open it (assuming you have an unzip utility). When you open the file you’ll see a number of folders, one of which is labeled “photos.” Open the photos folder and within it you’ll find folders for each of the albums you have set up in Facebook. Open the album folder and you’ll find the individual files.

After writing this I realize it seems like a lot – however it’s a whole lot easier to do all of this than it sounds, so go ahead and try it. You’ll have web-ready photos to post to your G+ profile within minutes.

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  1. Dana

    I never realized this was possible! Thanks for the great tip.

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