Earlier this week, Instagram launched a new data download tool that lets users archive their photos and other content. This feature is similar to Google's Export feature that lets users archive their Google content if they decide to move on from the platform.
You can use this tool to download your Instagram photos, videos, archived Stories, profile information, comments, and messages. All temporary content (disappearing messages and photos) is not included with the download.
Currently, this feature is only available through the Instagram website. An Instagram employee confirmed with TechCrunch that iOS and Android functionality is coming soon, so you can back up data from any device.
You can request their download at any time. Just know that downloads can take hours-to-days to process depending on how much you've posted to Instagram.
Becoming compliant with GDPR
Why launch an export tool now? Simple: it's needed to comply with the European Union's GDPR privacy law that's set to go into effect on May 25th. This law has a number of regulations surrounding social media and internet privacy—we'll be sure to fill you in a future article.
Instagram isn't the only platform with a data export feature. Snapchat, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn have offered similar features for years, and we expect more companies to follow suit before the end of May.
Our take on data export features
We're happy to see social media companies add export features to their platforms. Apart from being required by EU law, it prevents users from using phishing scams disguised as third-party applications to export Instagram data.
Further, Instagram adding this feature may make users more likely to post to the network. At its core, Instagram is a photo and video sharing service. Some users may be reluctant to post if their personal photographs disappear when they decide to leave the platform.
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