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Facebook launches a new tool that lets users transfer image to Google Photos

Do you have thousands of photos uploaded to Facebook that you'd like to access from another app or website? Now the social media company will let do just that. 

The new image transfer tool that will let users copy all their photos and videos from Facebook to Google Photos and eventually other social networking site.

It was built as part of the open-source Data Transfer Project - a technology partnership between major social networking and digital companies designed to make information hosted on one social media service available on other services.

The new Facebook tool will only be available in Ireland initially but  will be rolled out worldwide in 2020.  

Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter are all part of the Data Transfer Project right now but it is expected more companies will join in the future.

'We believe that if you share data with one service, you should be able to move it to another', said Steve Satterfield, Director of Privacy at Facebook.

'That’s the principle of data portability, which gives people control and choice while also encouraging innovation.'

It will only be available in Ireland initially but the Facebook photo transfer tool will be rolled out worldwide in 2020

Facebook says it wants to build practical solutions to data portability that people can trust and use effectively.

It is already possible for people to download all of the data Facebook holds on them as a single archive file. 

The company says while the new tool is built on open-source software the data will be encrypted throughout its journey from Facebook to Google Photos and to any other company that is added in future. 

'We know we can’t do this alone, so we encourage other companies to join the Data Transfer Project to expand options for people and continue to push data portability innovation forward', Mr Satterfield said. 

As it is built on open-source software it makes it easier for multiple companies to connect to each other and allow for more seamless data transfer says Facebook 

It is only available in Ireland at launch but will be expanding worldwide later in 2020.

People will be able to access the new tool in Facebook settings in the same place where the can download all other information.

'We’ve kept privacy and security as top priorities, so all data transferred will be encrypted and people will be asked to enter their password before a transfer is initiated,' Mr Satterfield said.

'We are currently testing this tool, so we will continue refining it based on feedback from people using it as well as from our conversations with stakeholders.'

Facebook says it wants to build practical and portable solutions to data portability that people can trust and use effectively

As the tool is built on an open-source framework, it means other companies will be able to hook into the system and allow you to transfer data between platforms without each site having to build their own tools.

'For example, a company using the Data Transfer Project framework can send an existing data type to a new service by simply creating a new Data Transfer Project importer for that data type', said Software developer William Morland.

'That new importer can also be contributed back to the open source project, thereby allowing other companies to export to that new service, as well, with no additional technical work.'

As the tool is built on an open-source framework, it means other companies will be able to hook into the system and allow you to transfer data between platforms without each site having to build their own tools

The wider Data Transfer Project consists of three main parts - a set of shared data to represent each content type, a system to handle authentication and a task manager to ensure everything is put together properly.

'We believe the Data Transfer Project shows that industry-led solutions can help make data portability a reality', Mr Satterfield said. 

'We are excited to be putting this first tool out and look forward to working with even more experts and companies, especially startups and new platforms, as this project continues to expand.' 

Tech Giants by the numbers

FACEBOOK 

Average monthly users: 2.41 billion

Total active accounts: 360 million

Market cap: $503.77 billion

CEO and their net worth: Mark Zuckerberg, $67.3 billion 

Subsidiaries and brands: Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, Calibra

GOOGLE 

Average monthly searches: 166.7 billion

Total active accounts (Gmail): 1 billion

Market cap (Alphabet): $840.52 billion

CEO and their net worth: Sundar Pichai, $600 million 

Subsidiaries and brands of Alphabet: Google, YouTube, Waymo, Wing

AMAZON 

Average monthly users: 2.5 billion

Total active accounts (Prime): 100 million

Market cap: $859.43 billion

CEO and their net worth: Jeff Bezos, $110 billion 

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