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Web and Social Media Archiving

An introduction to user-friendly technologies for preserving web and social media material

Saving your own social media content

Most social media networks have tools built in to allow users to save their own account information. You can do this prior to deleting an account, to import into a different account, or simply to maintain your own backups. 

Requesting a download is a simple process, but it may take some time after you've made the request for the download to be ready. You may also need to still be logged into the site to see the notification that it is ready. 

Saving your own Instagram information

As of March 2023, here's how you can download information from a personal Instagram account.

Your profile --> Privacy and Security --> Data Download 

You'll be asked to select between HTML and JSON: HTML will be easier to browse through. Use JSON if you want to upload the data to another service.

The site will also ask you to provide an email address to receive a link for download, and re-enter your password. 

Saving your own Facebook information

As of March 2023, here's how you can download all the content from a personal Facebook account: 

Settings and Privacy --> Settings --> Privacy --> Your Facebook Information --> Download Profile Information

From here, you can make some decisions: 

Screenshot of Facebook Download Your Profile Information

Format: downloading as HTML will be easiest for you to view. Downloading as JSON may allow you to import the information into other sites, etc.

Media quality: High will give you high resolution images and video, but the file size will be larger. 

Date range: You can select "All time," or pick a custom set of dates to include. 

Information to download: You can choose to only download your posts, or to get a copy of all information Facebook is storing. There are a lot of options.

Once you've made those decisions, press the "Request a download" button at the bottom. It will take some time, but when the file is ready for you to download, you'll get a notification. 

Saving your own Twitter information

As of March 2023, here's how you can download your account information from Twitter: 

Twitter homepage --> More --> Settings and Support --> Settings and Privacy --> Your Account --> Download an archive of your data

You may need to re-enter password information. 

Screenshot of Twitter account download

Press the "Request" button. It may take time for the download to be ready, particularly depending on the size of your account. You should receive a notification while logged in once it is ready.